Famous quotes by Edith Wharton:Sort:PopularA - Z

A New York divorce is in itself a diploma of virtue.
Almost everybody in the neighborhood had troubles, frankly localized and specified; but only the chosen had complications. To have them was in itself a distinction, though it was also, in most cases, a death warrant. People struggled on for years wit
Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.
How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be American before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, and having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries?
I despair of the Republic! Such dreariness, such whining sallow women, such utter absence of the amenities, such crass food, crass manners, crass landscape!! What a horror it is for a whole nation to be developing without the sense of beauty, and eating bananas for breakfast.
I wonder, among all the tangles of this mortal coil, which one contains tighter knots to undo, and consequently suggests more tugging, and pain, and diversified elements of misery, than the marriage tie.
If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.
Life is either always a tight-rope or a featherbed. Give me a tight-rope.
Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone.
My first few weeks in America are always miserable, because the tastes I am cursed with are all of a kind that cannot be gratified here, and I am not enough in sympathy with our gross public to make up for the lack on the aesthetic side. One's friends are delightful; but we are none of us Americans, we don't think or feel as the Americans do, we are the wretched exotics produced in a European glass-house, the most displaced and useless class on earth!
There are two ways of spreading light to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
There is too much sour grapes for my taste in the present American attitude. The time to denounce the bankers was when we were all feeding off their gold plate; not now! At present they have not only my sympathy but my preference. They are the last representatives of our native industries.
There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

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