‘But you assume it’s always choice, conscious, decision. There isn’t just a little naïve, Rémy? You sit down with your little accountant’s ledger and soberly decide what to love? Always?’
‘The alternatives are—’
‘What if sometimes there is no choice about what to love? What if the temple comes to Mohammed? What if you just love? without deciding? You just do: you see her and in that instant are lost to sober account-keeping and cannot choose but to love?’
Marathe’s sniff held disdain. ‘Then in such a case your temple is self and sentiment. Then in such an instance you are a fantatic of desire, a slave to your individual subjective narrow self’s sentiments; a citizen of nothing. You become a citizen of nothing. You are by yourself and alone, kneeling to yourself.’
A silence ensued.
Marathe shifted in his chair. ‘In a case such as this you become the slave who believes he is free. The most pathetic of bondage. Not tragic. No songs. You believe you would die twice for another but in truth would die only for your alone self, its sentiment.’
Another silence ensued.
—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest