From Jessa Crispin on Anthony Bourdain as the Queen of Coins.
I was talking to a bookseller friend about this in the context of James Joyce: when we look at a figure that we admire, we choose the wrong things to emulate. We look at the symptoms, not the source. When we want to be James Joyce, we look at the word trickery, the foulness, the shiny things on the surface. And we think we can just borrow that shit, take it on for ourselves, without also transplanting the source of how he did what he did (his deep feeling for an willingness to listen to women, his life on the margins, his capacity for joy, and so on). It’s why every academic who thinks he’s secretly James Joyce because he wrote a selfishly impenetrable novel is such an asshole. They’re withholding where Joyce is overflowing, they’re clever where Joyce is funny.
Sidenote: I love the adjective “overflowing” to describe a person.