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The notion that inspired play (even when audacious, offensive, or obscene) enhances rather than diminishes intellectual vigor and spiritual fulfillment, the notion that in the eyes of the gods the tight-lipped hero and the wet-cheeked victim are frequently inferior to the red-nosed clown, such notions are destined to be a hard sell to those who have E.M. Forster on their bedside table and a clump of dried narcissus up their ass.

Not to worry. As long as words and ideas exist, there will be a few misfits who will cavort with them in a spirit of *approfondement*–if I may borrow that marvelous French word that translates roughly as ‘playing easily in the deep’–and in so doing they will occasionally bring to realization Kafka’s belief that ‘a novel should be an ax for the frozen seas around us’.



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