Sunday, September 26, 2010

W. D. Howells and Kanye West

From Vanity Fair:

In iconic American fiction, there’s William Dean Howells’s novel, The Rise of Silas Lapham. In one remarkably hilarious scene in the book, the patriarch of an old-line Bostonian family admonishes his son for preferring to work for a living instead of relying on the charity of his parents or the dowry of a potential new wife. This “plebeian reluctance” to depend on the wealth of others, the father laments, is the reason America shall never have an aristocracy of its very own.