Many people love indulging in the very unhealthy habit of devoting their lives to one thing and one thing only. This makes for very boring human beings. Life is greater and much more interesting than any one specific field. Tasting life in all of its weirdness, beauty and complexity requires us to be more than one thing.
I don’t like the triumphalism of the American narrative, this kind of “chosen people” complex that American people have, so it’s inspiring to see people snub their noses at the American empire and succeed.
… he went to Berlin where he was supposed to be studying in the university there, but instead spent most of his time in low dives hanging out with the toughest, roughest people he could find. And he describes his lifelong fascination with character types whom he calls "monomaniacs," people really driven to stake everything on the realization of a desire that often proves impossible to realize.