Thursday, September 29, 2005


"My point in mentioning this is only to say that people who feel any sort of regret where you are concerned will suppose you are angry, and they will see anger in what you do, even if you're just quietly going about a life of your own choosing. They make you doubt yourself, which, depending on cases, can be a severe distraction and a waste of time. This is a thing I wish I had understood earlier than I did. Just to reflect on it makes me a little irritated. Irritation is a form of anger, I recognize that."

-- Marilynne Robinson in Gilead (2004, Farrar, Straus, Giroux; winner of the Pulitzer Prize)


  1. Okay help me out; I've read this three times and I'm not getting it. Can you give me some context here or do I just have to read this book?

  2. I certainly recommend the book. I am still reading it. It is about gratitude, ultimately.

    But the immediate context of this quote is the perspective of a dying pastor writing a letter to his seven-year old son (to be read post-mortem). The father is cautioning his son regarding the presence of anger in his family line and the manner in which parishioners sometimes perceive it. I just found it an interesting and descriptive paragraph.


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