The difference between the Parthenon and the World Trade Center, between a French wine glass and a German beer mug, between Bach and John Philip Sousa, between Sophocles and Shakespeare, between a bicycle and a horse, though explicable by historical moment, necessity, and destiny, is before all a difference of imagination.
I have a graduate degree from Penn State. I studied at Penn State under a noted Hemingway scholar, Philip Young. I had an interest in thrillers, and it occurred to me that Hemingway wrote many action scenes: the war scenes in 'A Farewell to Arms' and 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' come to mind. But the scenes don't feel pulpy.
So here is one of my theories on happiness: we cannot know if we have lived a truly happy life until the very end. This view of life and death was reinforced by my close witnessing of the buildup to the death of Philip Gould. Philip was without doubt my closest friend in politics. When he died, I felt like I had lost a limb.