News of Atrocities in Homeopathic Doses

“When news of atrocities being perpetrated are dispensed in small homeopathic doses, one becomes inured, for the normal human mind is not capable of the sort of integration that would raise the misdeed in its full abominable flesh. For that, the flame of an Isaiah is required or a religious genius of the intensity of Kierkegaard, of whom I once wrote as follows: ‘It is the privilege of the great religious thinker to predict the impending Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand, the coming slaughter of the millions of innocents, after reading some newspaper gossip about what Frøken Gusta said last night in a theater box to Frue Waller.’ In the absence of Biblical prophets, however, the reading of such writers as Kierkegaard, Kraus, Kafka, or Bernanos may help; that is, if you take them seriously, which is something very difficult to accomplish in our light-minded time.” (Erwin Chargaff, 1978, Heraclitean Fire)