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AMORY, SON OF BEATRICE
SPIRES AND GARGOYLES
THE EGOTIST CONSIDERS
NARCISSUS OFF DUTY
THE DEBUTANTE
EXPERIMENTS IN CONVALESCENCE
YOUNG IRONY
THE SUPERCILIOUS SACRIFICE
THE EGOTIST BECOMES A PERSONAGE

own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of 

tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to 

swallow anything but predigested food. For two cents the voter buys 

his politics, prejudices, and philosophy. A year later there is a new 

political ring or a change in the paper's ownership, consequence: more 

confusion, more contradiction, a sudden inrush of new ideas, their 

tempering, their distillation, the reaction against them--" 

 

He paused only to get his breath. 

 

"And that is why I have sworn not to put pen to paper until my ideas 

either clarify or depart entirely; I have quite enough sins on my soul 

without putting dangerous, shallow epigrams into people's heads; I might 

cause a poor, inoffensive capitalist to have a vulgar liaison with 

a bomb, or get some innocent little Bolshevik tangled up with a 

machine-gun bullet--" 

 

Tom was growing restless under this lampooning of his connection with 

The New Democracy. 

 

"What's all this got to do with your being bored?" 

 

Amory considered that it had much to do with it. 

 

"How'll I fit in?" he demanded. "What am I for? To propagate the race? 

According to the American novels we are led to believe that the 'healthy 

American boy' from nineteen to twenty-five is an entirely sexless 

animal. As a matter of fact, the healthier he is the less that's true. 

The only alternative to letting it get you is some violent interest. 

Well, the war is over; I believe too much in the responsibilities of 

authorship to write just now; and business, well, business speaks for 

itself. It has no connection with anything in the world that I've 

ever been interested in, except a slim, utilitarian connection with 

economics. What I'd see of it, lost in a clerkship, for the next and 

best ten years of my life would have the intellectual content of an 

industrial movie." 

 

"Try fiction," suggested Tom. 

 

"Trouble is I get distracted when I start to write stories--get afraid 

I'm doing it instead of living--get thinking maybe life is waiting for 


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