The OF Blog: A prescient quote

Saturday, September 01, 2012

A prescient quote

"Instead of going ahead and developing along the line in which the country started out, it got shunted off in another direction – and now we look around and see we've gone places we didn't mean to go.  Suddenly we realize that America has turned into something ugly – and vicious – and corroded at the heart of its power with easy wealth and graft and special privilege...And the worst of it is the intellectual dishonesty which all this corruption has bred.  People are afraid to think straight – afraid to look at things and see them as they are.  We've become like a nation of advertising men, all hiding behind catch phrases like 'prosperity' and 'rugged individualism' and 'the American way.'  And the real things like freedom, and equal opportunity, and the integrity and worth of the individual – things that have belonged to the American dream since the beginning – they have become just words, too.  The substance has gone out of them – they're not real any more...Take your own case.  You say you feel free at last because you've lost your job.  I don't doubt it – but it's a funny kind of freedom.  And just how free are you?"
– From Ch. 26 of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again


Foxessa said...

We are equally a terrified nation of spineless idiots today. Alas.

Love, C.

Larry Nolen said...

Sadly, some things never change.

This book is one of my 2-3 all-time favorites and re-reading it has reminded me why.

Scott B Robinson said...

I suppose now that I live right next to Asheville, I'd better read it!

Larry Nolen said...

Yes, but start with The Web and the Rock, as You Can't Go Home Again is the second half of Wolfe's massive posthumous manuscript to be published.

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