Quotation by Stefan Zweig

I call demonic the restlessness which is innate and essential in every human being ... (that which) drives one beyond one's limits into the infinite, into the elemental, as though nature had left behind in every individual soul an inexpressible, restless part of its original chaos, a part that wants to return with tension and passion to the super-human super-sensual element. The demon embodies the ferment, that bubbling, torturesome, upsetting ferment, which urges an otherwise calm life to move in the direction of all that is dangerous, towards excesses, ecstasy, selfdenial, selfdestruction; in most human beings, in the mediocre, this precious but dangerous part of the soul is soon absorbed and consumed ... restrained human beings stifle the Faustian drive within them, chloroform it with morality, dull it with work, restrain it with orderliness; the middle class person is always the mortal enemy of the chaotic.... But in superior human beings, especially in those who are productive, creative restlessness prevails in the form of dissatisfaction with everyday accomplishments.
Stefan Zweig (18811942), Austrian writer. Der Kampf mit dem Daemon (The Struggle with the Demon), pp. 910, trans. by Marion Sonnenfeld, Insel Verlag (1929).
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