An enormous irony shadows us throughout life: our capacity, our willingness even, to talk one line and live another — like the policeman caught stealing, the lawyer who breaks the law.
In the heyday of psychoanalytic reductionism, we were entranced with our ability to use psychiatric labels, to explain everything as the result of certain somethings.
A poor woman once told me that the Church “belongs” to her kind of people, not to them, the rich, the quite comfortable — appearances notwithstanding.
When Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure was published, Victorian England was hardly ready to accept that novel’s story of a love affair between cousins.
Williams knew how bored, self-centered, and self-indulgent the rich can be, and how desperately confused, vulnerable, and self-lacerating the poor often are.
Niebuhr was the most extraordinary of preachers — a powerfully compelling delivery, all extemporaneous. As a teacher he called upon history and politics with great ease.
Elderly folks I once knew were proud of their indifference to the urban American world and its culture, its values and habits, of which they occasionally heard from their children.
To be a father is to love the children enough to give them countless kisses and boosts, examples and assistance; but also love them enough to stumble with them, before them, on their account.
In my field-work I found people of stoic dignity, often enough making do rather shrewdly, patiently, and thoughtfully against great odds.
William D. Miller
Review of Harvard Diary by Robert Coles
- Karl Keating