Letter 014, pg. 2
that which I saw in you exists only in my own mind and no one else would see it, or care to see. I am speaking of your great achievement in bringing to life a completely heroic human being.
The word heroic does not quite express what I mean. You see, I am an atheist and I have only one religion: the sublime in human nature. There is nothing to approach the sanctity of the highest type of man possible and there is nothing that gives me the same reverent feeling, the feeling when one’s spirit wants to kneel, bareheaded. Do not call it hero-worship, because it is more than that. It is a kind of strange and improbable white heat where admiration becomes religion, and religion becomes philosophy, and philosophy—the whole of one’s life.
I realize how silly words like these may sound today. Who cares about heroes any more and who wants to care? In an age that glorifies the average, the commonplace, the good, stale “human” values, that raises to the height of supreme virtue the complete lack of it, that refuses to allow anything above the smug, comfortable herd, that places the life of that herd above all things, who can still understand the thrill of seeing a man such as you were on the stage? It is not your acting that did