Thursday, June 6, 2013

the last book I ever read (The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates, excerpt two)

from The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates:

In our egalitarian American society, it is considered a kind of evil to feel superior to other Americans; though the lower strata of all human societies yearn to feel superior to other, yet lower, strata, still it is sacrosanct to pretend that this is not so; that snobbery, in all its forms, is aberrant as well as evil.

This may be a convenient time for me to provide to the reader some information concerning the subtle yet crucial differentiations in social rank between those persons in our chronicle who belong to the old “county” families, of long-established lineage and wealth, and those of a more recent sort who have but lately, that’s to say within the past century, migrated to the area.

The original category is pilgrims, settlers, or colonists; the second, much vaster, is immigrants.

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