Wander on.

Compiling inspiring words from a list of 100 books to read before you die (+ 100 other equally worthy contenders)

Dear Sam—

People will feel exposed, ridiculed, no matter how you deal with them. Any mention causes them shame. They can’t think that perhaps it was my aim to love not shame them. If you wanted to think about and find meaning in my existence I would thank you for it, not curse you.

A few years ago when my brother thought he had cancer he cried out, “I pissed my life away!” And now look at him. That’s all forgotten. But I didn’t forget the great pain of hearing a man condemn himself. Forty-five years of life must contain some meaning.

Of course, so long as our misery is secret our honor is whole.

Well, I never dreamed that I could be an uncursed prophet, so I accept the curses. I agree that I am an outlaw. In outlaw bravado I have no interest. I only meant that I wish to obey better laws.

Well, I haven’t much news to tell you. I am fairly happy. I do a lot of thinking. As yet, to no great purpose.

Love to everyone,

—   Bellow