4 January 2012

Be Boorish

"That evil of small-town life of which you speak is only too likely to distress you, to some extent, wherever you settle. No intellectual man who flees to the country ever wholly escapes these annoyances. One ought, in truth, to be boorish; it is the only way to keep a clear space round about one. A gentle demeanor is a fearful provocative of Philistine onslaught."

George Gissing to his friend Eduard Bertz, April 2nd, 1889.

The Letters of George Gissing to Eduard Bertz, 1887-1903
(New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1961), p. 54.