Friday, June 17, 2011



Sidney Lanier (1842-1881), letter to Paul Hamilton Hayne (April 17, 1872), quoted in Edmund Wilson, Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962; rpt. 1969), pp. 460-461:
Trade, Trade, Trade. Pah, are we not all sick? A man cannot walk down a green alley of the woods, in these days, without unawares getting his mouth and nose and eyes covered with some web or other that Trade has stretched across, to catch some gain or other. 'Tis an old spider that has crawled all over our modern life, and covered it with a flimsy web that conceals the Realities. Our religions, our politics, our social life, our charities, our literature, nay, by Heavens, our music and our lives almost, are all meshed in unsubstantial concealments and filthy garnitures by it.

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