On the Pleasure of Hating

On the Pleasure of Hating by William Hazlitt, 1/5

I started this book by accident, somehow confusing the author with the more frequently-quoted Walter Pater.  Of the six essays it contains, the last (for which the collection is named) seemed to me most interesting and unique.  It comments on the perceived propensity of humankind towards evil and the negative, but I was most interested by its cynical description of friendship.  The rest of the essays come across as editorials written by a well-read man of medium intellect, something that would appear in magazines of the day (1820s), but has little lasting value to offer.  Perhaps this explains the comment on Wikipedia that “his [Hazlitt’s] work is little read and mostly out of print,” somewhat at odds with the previous assertion that Hazlitt is “now considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language.”

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