This Feature Is Not Supproted Quotes

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Noah: I want to know if it’s possible, really possible, to be a good man and a great man. 

Therapist: And by good, you mean? 

Noah: Well, the way Helen reads the obituaries for long-lasting marriages, for virtue basically, monogamy, partnership, love. I mean, do the men who Helen thinks led good lives, how many of them also had great lives? 

Therapist: Depends now what you mean by great. 

Noah: Would General Bradley have conquered Normandy if he had been home changing diapers? I’m serious. You look at the way this guy led his life. He went out into the world and followed his instincts, and he took whatever he wanted. Maybe he was narcissistic, maybe his wife was unhappy, but his life had consequence. He basically won the war for us. So do we judge him for his absence from his family and his infidelity, or do we just let that slide because what does it matter at the end? The guy stopped Hitler. 

Therapist: What does it matter to whom? 

Noah: There is a certain type of man that history reveres. We see it over and over: Jefferson, Hamilton, Picasso, Hemingway, all of them cheaters. It’s like they have this bald desire, this willingness to take whatever they want, that ends up making them remarkable. 

Therapist: But again, I want to understand how this connects to you. 

Noah: What if, I mean, what if? What if I have it in me to be great? What if the only thing that separates me from Ernest Hemingway is that he never had to choose? He just gave himself permission to do whatever the fuck he wanted in the name of his work and he didn’t care who he made suffer. 

Therapist: And he blew out his brains at 60.

Therapist: You tell me. 

Noah: I want to be a good husband. I want to be a good partner and a good father, and I love having a family and a home and people that depend on me. But I also want to go to France and — for two years — and fuck whoever and feel alive again and write a great novel. What I do not want is to be dishonest, I tried that and I hate myself, if there is one thing I can change, I don’t want to lie, to myself or to anyone else.


Therapist: So you're gonna be in here again with Alison, but before that, I think it's worth taking the time to look beyond Bradley, beyond Jefferson, beyond whoever. To another list. A list of men who did remarkable things and remained loyal partners. We hear about them less, but they're out there too. 

Noah: I know that, of course. 

Therapist: A few of them sit right where you're sitting. Every week. How do they fit into your theory? You could be in France right now with a sitter minding Joanie. And you didn't have to tell me about your appointment with Lucy. And the very fact that you stayed today, and that you're struggling with these issues, to me, that says volumes about who you really are. 

Noah: Great, so who am I? 

Therapist: Thank you for the talk.

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Chris Lavergne

April 9, 2016