Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Notes on Twee returns

“In that age, too, began the doubt as to whether this man or that was ‘grown-up,’ which has ever since occupied so deeply the minds of those interested in their friends. Macaulay complains somewhere that in his day a man was sure to be accused of a child-mind if no doubt could be cast ‘either on the ability of his intelligence or the innocence of his character’; now nobody seems to have said this in the eighteenth century. Before the Romantic Revival the possibilities of not growing up had never been exploited so far as to become a subject for popular anxiety.”

— William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity, 21