Book//mark – The Age of Innocence | Edith Wharton, 1920

The Age of Innocence, 1920                                                            Edith Wharton, 1862-1937

“The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!”

“Everything may be labelled – but everybody is not.”

“She gave so many reasons that I’ve forgotten them all.”

“And you’ll sit beside me, and we’ll look, not at visions, but at realities.”

“But I’ve caught it already. I am dead — I’ve been dead for months and months.”

“We can’t behave like people in novels, though, can we?”

“He had her in his arms, her face like a wet flower at his lips, and all their vain
terrors shriveling up like ghosts at sunrise.”

“She was the subject creature, and versed in the arts of the enslaved.”

“The boy was not insensitive, he knew; but he had the facility and self-confidence
that came of looking at fate not as a master but as an equal.”

“Ah, no, he did not want May to have that kind of innocence, the innocence that seals
the mind against imagination and the heart against experience!”

“His heart beat with awe: he felt that he had never before beheld love visible.”

“Poetry and art are the breath of life to her.”

“”Bursting with the belated eloquence of the inarticulate”…happens to me on a daily basis!”

“Ah, good conversation – there’s nothing like it, is there?
The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”

“And wondering where he had read that clever liars
give details, but that the cleverest do not.”

“It’s you who are telling me; opening my eyes to things I’d looked at
so long that I’d ceased to see them.”

“There are moments when a man’s imagination, so easily subdued to what it lives in,
suddenly rises above its daily level and surveys the long windings of destiny.”

“Who’s ‘they’? Why don’t you all get together and be ‘they’ yourselves?”

“It’s a hundred years since we’ve met – it may be another hundred before we meet again.”

“Each time you happen to me all over again.”

“I can’t love you unless I give you up.”

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, 1920


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