Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lee Knows

This paragraph (from East of Eden, by John Steinbeck) hit me like a brick. It's dead on:

Lee went on, "That's Why I include myself. We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It's a breed -- selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful -- we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We're oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic -- and do you now of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of use that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture? That's what we are, Cal -- all of us. You aren't very different."


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