The Air of Ideas ~ Edith Wharton

“The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing,” Edith Wharton.

There are more elegant photos of Wharton all over the internet, but this one appeals to me in that it is evidence of a long writing life, one that spanned decades and crossed from one century into another. Below is a short excerpt from her story “The Long Run,” published in 1916, when she was in her fifties:

“Merrick was still handsome in his stooping tawny way: handsomer perhaps, with thinnish hair and more lines in his face, than in the young excess of his good looks. He was very glad to see me and conveyed his gladness by the same charming smile; but as soon as we began to talk I felt a change. It was not merely the change that years and experience and altered values bring. There was something more fundamental the matter with Merrick, something dreadful, unforeseen, unaccountable: Merrick had grown conventional and dull.”

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