Max and the American

“And Americans, individually, are of all people the most anxious to please. That they talk overmuch is often taken as a sign of self-satisfaction. It is merely a mannerism. Rhetoric is a thing inbred in them. They are quite unconscious of it. It is as natural to them as breathing. And, while they talk on, they really do believe that they are quick businesslike people, by whom things are ‘put through’ with an almost brutal abruptness. This notion of theirs is rather confusing to the patient English auditor.” Zuleika Dobson, p. 122.

I find much to resonate to here. What should be a matter of profound moral weight and incalculable consequence is regarded as a mere practical problem to be “solved” as rapidly and brutally as possible.

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