Oh, the trifles, the people, that get on your nerves when you have a neurosis!
Our culture is big on appearances. Do the right thing, say the right words, put your best foot forward. But at what point does your facade become your true face? No matter what you claim to feel on the inside, what you do with the outside is the tangible evidence of who you are. As Edith Wharton and Muriel Spark argue, in their inimitable fashion.
The worst of doing one’s duty was that it apparently unfitted one for doing anything else.
– Edith Wharton ‘The Age of Innocence’
She did not know then that the price of allowing false opinions was the gradual loss of one’s capacity for forming true ones.
– Muriel Spark ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’
How’s this for some flat-out incredible description?
Unencumbered youth who swing and thread through the crowds like antelopes whose heads, invisibly antlered, are airborne high to sniff the prevailing winds, and who so appear to own the terrain beneath their feet that they never look at it.
–Muriel Spark (from ‘The Driver’s Seat’)