The air was loud with questions that must not be asked…

August 26, 2009

From “Preface to Three Plays” by Thornton Wilder.

The prestige of the aristocracy is based upon a dreary untruth, that moral superiority and the qualifications for leadership are transmittable through the chromosomes, and the secondary lie, that the environment afforded by privilege and leisure tends to nurture the flowers of the spirit. An aristocracy, defending and fostering its lie, extracts from the arts only such elements as can further its interests, the aroma and not the sap, the grace and not the trenchancy. The middle class… they distrusted their passions and tried to deny them. Their questions about the nature of life seemed to be sufficiently answered by the demonstration of financial status and by conformity to some clearly established rules of decorum.

The air was loud with questions that must not be asked…

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