Етикети

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When you come back to living in a town after having lived in cities you have the idea that everything is comprehensible and easy there, almost as if some people have got together and said, “Let’s play Town.” You think that nobody could die there. She would think there was something disastrously wrong, when she saw Anna in front of the television set eating Captain Crunch, at the very hour when families everywhere were gathered at kitchen or dining-room tables, preparing to eat and quarrel and amuse and torment each other. Women’s tenderness is greedy, their sensuality is dishonest. She thought how love removes the world for you, and just as surely when it’s going well as when it’s going badly. Poverty in girls is not attractive unless combined with sweet sluttishness, stupidity. Braininess is not attractive unless combined with some signs of elegance; class. They had done what others did, they had done what lovers did. The person who spoke these words and the person who spoke to her as her father were not the same, though they seemed to occupy the same space. It would be the worst sort of taste to acknowledge the person who was not supposed to be there; it would not be forgiven. Treachery is the other side of dailiness. Flo was also fairly pleased, because she liked to see people brought down to earth, Nature asserting itself; she was the sort of woman who will make public what she finds in the laundry bag. What can be done about love, when it gets to this point, of such impotence and hopelessness and crazy concentration? Something will have to whack it. A woman ought to be energetic, practical, clever at making and saving; she ought to be shrewd, good at bargaining and bossing and seeing through people’s pretensions. At the same time she should be naive intellectually, childlike, contemptuous of maps and long words and anything in books, full of charming jumbled notions, superstitions, traditional beliefs.