Essay: Daydreams of What You'd Rather Be

Kierkegaard once confided to his journal that he would have been much happier if he had become a police spy rather than a philosopher. Richard Nixon always wanted to be a sportswriter. If one considers these fantasies together, they seem to have got weirdly crossed. It is Nixon who should have been the police spy. On the other hand, Kierkegaard would probably have made an extraordinarily depressing sportswriter (Fear and Trembling: The Angst of Bucky Dent).

We have these half-secret old ambitions — to be something else, to be someone else, to leap out...

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