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“Gabe Wallach knows only two languages, and one badly, so perhaps he is snotty out of envy. He has the malaise of many wealthy but ordinary young men: he does not know what to do with himself. Though subject to his share of depressions, nightmares, and melancholy, he cannot enjoy any of it thoroughly beacuse of a nagging doubt that he is very lucky and ought to be thankful and shut up. It would help if he could imagine himself without hope. He has an income, he has perfect health, and he believes not only in pursuit, but in the catching by the tail and dragging down in the clover of happiness. Unfortunately, all these beliefs don’t get too much in the way of his actions. If his own good fortune were inevitable, he should not have so much trouble making up his mind. For an optimist, he is very nervous and indecisive.”

– Philip Roth, Letting Go


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