Thursday, August 25, 2022

Quote of the Day (Edith Wharton, on Starved Imaginations in Her New York Childhood)

“I have often sighed, in looking back at my childhood, to think how pitiful a provision was made for the life of the imagination behind those uniform brownstone façades, and then have concluded that since, for reasons which escape us, the creative mind thrives best on a reduced diet, I probably had the fare best suited to me. But this is not to say that the average well-to-do New Yorker of my childhood was not starved for a sight of the high gods. Beauty, passion, and danger were automatically excluded from his life (for the men were almost as starved as the women); and the average human being deprived of air from the heights is likely to produce other lives equally starved—which was what happened in old New York, where the tepid sameness of the moral atmosphere resulted in a prolonged immaturity of mind."—Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937), “A Little Girl’s New York,” Harper’s Magazine, March 1938

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