It’s unsurprising that parenting is fertile ground for novelists. There are plenty of stories, both in fiction and in real life, of parental sacrifice for the sake of children. More surprising are the accounts of parents using their children for the sake of their work.
Lily Bart is nothing if not a master of self-denial, supremely talented at self-deception and shameless rationalization, which inevitably bleeds into her distinctive brand of morality. At the beginning of House of Mirth, Wharton is careful to clarify that Lily is not “scrupulous” in the traditional sense, but that
Steven Pinker is a cognitive scientist and psychologist whose work focuses on language–how it works and how it breaks down. Drawing upon his nearly forty years of research, as well as his experiences on the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, Pinker has developed a new guide