The Beautiful Room is Empty by Edmund White:
Things were simpler, clearer then. On one side were the painters, a few taunted, poor, scrawny kids, and on the other the philistines, the fat-cat majority. Certainly the painters felt justified at striking back at what they called the “boor-zhwah-zee,” but Maria hated all sorts of cruelty, especially to other women and to animals. A little bit later, just a year or two later, and she’d never have insulted that Sunday photographer. She’d have said, “Who knows, maybe he’s a genius in disguise. After all, Rousseau was just a Sunday painter.” She thought some sort of American Revolution would have to break out to equalize wealth, but she prayed it would be bloodless.
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