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Edith Wharton

I just finished reading, for the first time, House of Mirth. I put off everything I had to do today to stay with it, so no time to do more than offer some snippets. I'll think about it here later on. I ran into a friend just after I got to the end, who said, Are you OK? A devastating novel.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. —Ecclesiastes

Some quotes:
There are as many different ways of going without money as of spending it.

... a world where conspicuousness passed for distinction, and the society column had become the roll of fame. [how contemporary is THAT?!]

She herself had grown up without any one spot of earth being dearer to her than another: there was no centre of early pieties, of grave endearing traditions, to which her heart could revert and from which it could draw strength for itself and tenderness for others. In whatever form a slowly accumulated past lives in the blood—whether in the concrete image of the old house stored with visual memories, or in the conception of the house not built with hands, but made up of inherited passions and loyalties—it has the same power of broadening and deepening the individual existence, of attaching it by mysterious links of kinship to all the might sum of human striving.
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