Once, when I pointed out to my older brother that I found his group in Newport on the stuffy side, he replied that their dinners were good and their guests on time and never inebriated. I retorted that he would have been happy with the formality and regularity of the court of Versailles, and he did not deny it. For a long time it seemed to me that this propriety was inconsistent with a serious life, that such an attitude must indicate a certain triviality of spirit or even of heart. I was wrong.A 'reader and thinker' rather than a talker. Do such people still exist?
My brother, you see, needed only himself for an intellectual companion. He was a deep reader and thinker, and a conscientious liberal in a rigidly conservative society to whose tenets he paid no attention but never took the trouble to contradict.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Thinking, not talking
In an age when it seems that everyone feels the need to express their opinions, these words from my current book, A Voice From Old New York by Louis Auchincloss stopped me in my tracks: