Basically I'm an optimist. Intellectually I can see man's balance is about fifty-fifty, and his chances of blowing himself up are about one to one. I can't see this any way but intellectually. I'm just emotionally unable to believe that he will do this. This means that I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pesimist, I suppose.
-- Sir William Golding (1911-1993), English poet, novelist, and Nobel laureate, interview with James Keating, Purdue University, 10 May 1962, printed in Lord of the Flies: The Casebook Edition (1964)