I myself would never dream of trying to bring people to my way of thinking in a social setting. The ideas, while not abstruse in themselves, are organized in a way that is clearly alien to our cultural preconceptions. In effect, I was compelled to commit them to paper because no other way could succeed. There’s nothing unusual about this, of course. You can, I suppose talk ABOUT The Critique of Pure Reason over cocktails (to people who are familiar with it), but over cocktails you certainly wouldn’t undertake to explain it comprehensively to a group that had never heard of it. What is most likely to happen in a social setting is that two or three people who have read Ishmael or The Story of B will starting talking about it, with the result that others in the group will be intrigued—and asked for explanations. People are obviously much more receptive to information they’ve asked for than to information that is being offered unasked.

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