Edith Wharton Quotes

I wonder, among all the tangles of this mortal coil, which one contains tighter knots to undo, & consequently suggests more tugging, & pain, & diversified elements of misery, than the marriage tie.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. letter, Feb. 12, 1909. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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My first few weeks in America are always miserable, because the tastes I am cursed with are all of a kind that cannot be gratified here, & I am not enough in sympathy with our "gros public" to make up for the lack on the aesthetic side. One's friends are delightful; but we are none of us Americans, we don't think or feel as the Americans do, we are the wretched exotics produced in a European glass-house, the most déplacé & useless class on earth!
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Letter, June 5, 1903, to Sara Norton, daughter of distinguished scholar Charles Eliot Norton. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988). Wharton spent most of her adult life in Europe.
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How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be "American" before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, & having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries? It is really too easy a disguise for our shortcomings to dress them up as a form of patriotism!
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Letter, July 19, 1919. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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I have never known a novel that was good enough to be good in spite of its being adapted to the author's political views.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Letter, August 19, 1927, to novelist and socialist Upton Sinclair. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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We who knew him well know how great he would have been if he had never written a line.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Letter of condolence, March 1, 1916, written the day after James's death. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them & invent others.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. letter, Nov. 19, 1907, following the publication of The Fruit of the Tree. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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I think sometimes that it is almost a pity to enjoy Italy as much as I do, because the acuteness of my sensations makes them rather exhausting; but when I see the stupid Italians I have met here, completely insensitive to their surroundings, and ignorant of the treasures of art and history among which they have grown up, I begin to think it is better to be an American, and bring to it all a mind and eye unblunted by custom.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Letter, March 8, 1903. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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It's a turgid welter of pornography (the rudest schoolboy kind) & unformed & unimportant drivel; & until the raw ingredients of a pudding make a pudding, I shall never believe that the raw material of sensation & thought can make a work of art without the cook's intervening.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. letter, Jan. 6, 1923, to art connoisseur and historian Bernard Berenson. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988). Wharton was commenting on Ulysses, which had been published in Paris the previous year. She went on, "The same applies to [T.S.] Eliot," whose The Wasteland had also been recently published.
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