Mirth

Edith Wharton House of Mirth Lit LiteratureAfter several intense metaphysical reads, I decided to lighten up via Edith Wharton’s classic Gilded Age anti-love story, The House of Mirth.

So far, a few words I’ve liked: “indefatigable” as in tireless, “indolent” as in lazy, “sylvan” as in poetic, “iniquitous” as in perverse.

Two words that, to me, sound like the opposite of what they mean are “prosaic” and “mirth” itself. When I hear “prosaic,” I think of beautiful, ill-fated epic tales. But this redolent word just means “dull.”

And, when I hear “mirth,” things like a distant cousin to the lowly worm, a seldom-used farm tool or an archaic form of measurement are called to mind. It far from explodes into the champagne gaiety that it is meant to evoke.

On a closing note, I wanted to express my sympathies for the word “wart,” which really could have had no other fate.

Read at the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Arizona Biltmore, 2014

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