Desire: John Burnham Schwartz’s THE COMMONER

Bottom of p. 22 of Schwartz’s Japan-set novel, The Commoner (What a wonder John Burnham Schwartz is:  a real ventriloquist. He also wrote Reservation Road, the book on which the Leo di Caprio/Kate Winslet movie was based):

One doesn’t stop wanting certain things simply because they’ve been taken away; one simply wants them more.  That’s what it is to be young.  And later in life it is those youthful desires, sharpened by denial, that are the first of the dreams one is coerced into smothering.  The trick is to appear to kill desire while actually storing it away in a place so private that no greater authority will ever know of its existence.  A kind of bunker, as in a war.


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