In praise of amateurism

From the introduction to Andy Merrifield’s The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love comes this great paragraph:

Whenever I hear professional business types utter their marketing and management mantras, or professional academics talk about research assessment and finance, about grant money and committees, I feel the same sense of outsiderhood and stupefaction that Dostoevsky’s Underground Man feels in attending a reunion of his old school friends. Unlike him, they’re all ‘successes’, professionals who’ve amassed the rewards of status and commercial victories. But the Underground Man ‘hates the harshly self-confident sound of their voices’, and is struck by ‘the pettiness of their thoughts, the stupidity of their pursuits, their games, their conversations’.

I couldnt agree more.