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‘It is not our struggle to be happy that is mistaken; it is our false idea that we can find happiness anywhere but in ourselves… happiness does not depend on outward things. It is born of the mind, it is nourished by the mind, it is what rises, like breath in a frosty air, from the mind’s wrestling with its fate…’
The Art of Happiness (first published in 1935) belongs to John Cowper Powys’s sequence of philosophical writings, and finds him exploring the problem of how man lives with his fellow man, and also with woman – that is to say, here, as opposed to the abstract arguments concerning Man in the universe, Powys is concerned with the practical arguments such as arise between man and his neighbour, his wife, his lover – and also with man’s arguments against himself, all in the pursuit of happiness. The careful reader will find herein hints, clues, intimations, as to how we all might become a little happier – an invitation few of us would feel so fortunate as to refuse.
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