4 June 2013

Abnormal People

Richard King (pseudonym of Richard King Huskinson, 1879-1947), With Silent Friends (London: Bodley Head, 1917), pp. 46-47:
The abnormal person flees through life like a canary being pursued by sparrows. Nobody quite knows why the sparrows always persecute the bird which has escaped its cage, except that it is usually different from the type they are themselves, and a "difference," even in bird-life — which, after the life of the flowers, always seems to me to be nearest to perfect beauty in all creation — makes for enmity and hatred and jealousy and, if possible, death. Of course, there are heaps of people who aren't really abnormal at all, although they are dying to be thought above and apart from the crowd. They kind o' hunt with the hounds and dress up like the hare. They usually create a deep impression on themselves. The abnormal people I pity are the people who have been born, as it were, with a "kink" in their natures, people who cannot live the ordinary, law-abiding, moral, and respectable life of the multitude, as the multitude moulds its conduct by laws and religion and social customs. They are the people who suffer. They are the people who are really and cruelly lonely. If they are strong and brave they usually end either as social outcasts or in gaol. If they are weak, they shuffle through life furtively, pretending to be what they are not. And how they suffer — these really abnormal people! In their struggle for self-expression they are never victors. The Commonplace always wins in the long run, decry it as we may.