Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nick Hornby on Obsession

If we told the truth every time, then we would be unable to maintain relationships with anyone from the real world. We would be left to rot with our Arsenal programmes or our collection of original blue-label Stax records or our King Charles spaniels, and out two minute daydreams would become longer and longer until we lost our jobs and stopped bathing and shaving and eating, and we would lie on the floor in our own filth rewinding the video again and again in an attempt to memorise by heart the whole of the commentary, including David Pleat’s expert analysis, for the night of 26th of May 1989. (You think I had to look the date up? Ha!) The truth is this: for alarmingly large chunks of an average day, I am a moron.

None of this is thought, in the proper sense of the word. There is no analysis, or self-awareness, or mental rigour going on at all, because obsessives are denied any sense of perspective on their own passion. This, in a sense, is what defines an obsession and serves to explain why so few of them recognize themselves as such.”

Source: Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch, (London: Victor Gollancz, 1992), 10-11.

Image: “We would be left to rot with our Arsenal programmes…”

Dr. Geoff Pound

More stories from Hornby:

On Going to the Football

On Growing Up

Books and Stories Should be Enjoyable

The Gift of Good Fiction

The Influence of Domesticity

Communicating Because You Have Something to Say

Keeping Boring Your Listeners

Communication as Stew