Quotes

Uneven Tenor, full quote:

“Dad, you hit the wrong target when you write that you wish I were at Princeton living ‘in the even tenor of my way.’  I hate that expression and as far as I am able I intend to avoid that condition.  When impulse and spontaneity fail to make my ‘way’ as uneven as possible then I shall sit up at nights inventing means of making life as conglomerate and vivid as possible.

“Those who live in the even tenor of their way simply exist until death ends their monotonous tranquility.  No, there’s going to be no even tenor with me.  The more uneven it is the happier I shall be.  And when my time comes to die, I’ll be able to die happy, for I will have done and seen and heard and experienced all the joy, pain, thrills–every emotion that any human ever had–and I’ll be especially happy if I’m spared a stupid, common death in bed.

“So, Dad, I’m afraid your wish will always come to naught, for my way is to be ever changing, but always swift, acute and leaping from peak to peak instead of following the rest of the herd, shackled in conventionalities, along the monotonous narrow path in the valley.  The dead have reached perfection when it comes to even tenor!”

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