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Bowen Quote

“Innocence so constantly finds itself in a flase position that inwardly innocent people learn to be disingenuous. Finding no language in which to speak in their own terms, they resign themselves to being translated imperfectly. They exist alone; when they try to enter into relations they compromise falsifyingly–through anxiety, through desire to impart and to feel warmth. The system of our affections is too corrupt for them. They are bound to blunder, then to be told they cheat. In love, the sweetness and violence they have to offer involves a thousand betrayals for the less innocent. Incurable strangers to the world, they never cease to exact a heroic happiness. Their singleness, their ruthlessness, their one continuous wish makes them bound to be cruel, and to suffer cruelty.” –The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you so much. A remarkable and profound piece of writing. I’m passing this on to several who I think will draw their own meanings from it.

  2. A most striking thought indeed. I dropped the book at once when I came to this passage and pondered at it and against my experience. I was not aware of time’s passing until I came back to reading an hour or so later! 🙂

  3. […] mentioned a very significant quote on innocence in a previous post. So the theme of innocence being corrupted is inverted in order to fully accentuate the destructive […]

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