From Sigrid Undset, “Marta Oulie”

Now I take a more lenient view of many things, but that’s because I too am guilty. When I was young and innocent I was a harsher judge.

We keep learning all our lives–but God help us what we learn. To understand everything is supposed to mean to forgive everything; if so, then may God spare me from those people who forgive too much. That’s merely something we say to console ourselves when life starts to leave its mark on us, and we have done various things that we would have been ashamed of in our better days.

-tr Tiina Nunnally; I like the switchbacky moral logic of this, the way she says something true and then finds several different ways to retreat into doomy, swoony self-blame.

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About Eve Tushnet