Sincerity is the way; Authenticity is the goal

This explanatory quote from Lionel Trilling via Declan Kiberd's introduction to Ulysses bears repeating:"Sincerity",...

June 20, 2008

This explanatory quote from Lionel Trilling via Declan Kiberd’s introduction to Ulysses bears repeating:

“Sincerity”, a congruence between avowal and feeling can be achieved when there is no problem of form: it is based on the romantic ideal of truth to the self and it presupposes a definite identity which it becomes the task of a lifetime to be true to. 

“Authenticity” is a more excruciating modern demand, which begins with the admission that there IS a problem of form, and that this makes the congruence difficult; it recognises that the issue is not truth, but the finding of the many selves that one might wish to be true to.

This is as elegant an explanation of the authenticity paradox as I can imagine. 

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