In a doorstoop on Sarphatistraat, beyond the curve of the Prinsengracht and two short blocks from the Amstel, a young man bellows.
You’re under no necessity to compose;
Why you should wish to publish, heaven knows.
There’s no excuse for printing tedious rot
Unless one writes for bread, as you do not.
Resist temptation, then, I beg of you;
Conceal your pastimes from the public view.
— Molière, The Misanthrope
Fidel Castro just turned 90 two days ago — no longer as we remember him, ever youthful, ever vigorous. What did he have that fascinated so many of us for so long, that let him dominate Cuba and from that small base to shake the whole world? And threatening to do more than just shake it, in October 1962. Like him or hate him, you have to acknowledge that his was a personality hard to resist, even by those among us who should have known better.