There is no novelty in this recipe for genius; it was practised by Carlyle in the time of our grandfathers, and by Nietzsche in the time of our fathers, and it has been practised in our own time by D. H. Lawrence. Lawrence is considered by his disciples to have enunciated all sorts of new wisdom about the relations of men and women; in actual fact he has gone back to advocating the domination of the male which one associates with the cave dwellers. Woman exists, in his philosophy, only as something soft and fat to rest the hero when he returns from his labours. Civilised societies have been learning to see something more than this in women; Lawrence will have nothing of civilisation. He scours the world for what is ancient and dark and loves the traces of Aztec cruelty in Mexico. Young men, who had been learning to behave, naturally read him with delight and go round practising cave-man stuff so far as the usages of polite society will permit.
One of the most important elements of success in becoming a man of genius is to learn the art of denunciation. You must always denounce in such a way that your reader thinks that it is the other fellow who is being denounced and not himself; in that case he will be impressed by your noble scorn, whereas if he thinks that it is himself that you are denouncing, he will consider that you are guilty of ill-bred peevishness. Carlyle remarked: ``The population of England is twenty millions, mostly fools.'' Everybody who read this considered himself one of the exceptions, and therefore enjoyed the remark. You must not denounce well-defined classes, such as persons with more than a certain income, inhabitants of a certain area, or believers in some definite creed; for if you do this, some readers will know that your invective is directed against them. You must denounce persons whose emotions are atrophied, persons to whom only plodding study can reveal the truth, for we all know that these are other people, and we shall therefore view with sympathy your powerful diagnosis of the evils of the age.
Ignore fact and reason, live entirely in the world of your own fantastic and myth-producing passions; do this whole-heartedly and with conviction, and you will become one of the prophets of your age.
28 December 1932