“You know no such thing”

mmw2

“She opened the box, took out another horehound, but held it for a moment in her hand. Then she slipped it in her mouth, slyly, as if she was wiping her lips. ‘If I don’t talk I’m liable to forget it all,’ she said.
‘I know–‘ I said.
‘You know no such thing,’ she said, and sucked the horehound.”

“I looked at the odds and ends on the bureau, the pin-cushion lid on the cigar box, the faded Legion poppies, assorted pills, patent medicines. There was not a thing of beauty, a man-made loveliness, anywhere. A strange thing, for whatever it was I was feeling, at that moment, was what I expect a thing of beauty to make me feel. To take me out of myself, into the selves of other things. I’ve been in the habit, recently, of saying that if we could feel anything, very long, it would kill us, and that we get on by not even feeling ourselves. To keep that from happening we have this thing called embarrassment.”

-excerpts from The Home Place by Wright Morris

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