Quotation by H.L. Mencken

American thinking, when it concerns itself with beautiful letters as when it concerns itself with religious dogma or political theory, is extraordinarily timid and superficial ... [I]t evades the genuinely serious problems of art and life as if they were stringently taboo ... [T]he outward virtues it undoubtedly shows are always the virtues, not of profundity, not of courage, not of originality, but merely those of an emasculated and often very trashy dilettantism.
H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880–1956), U.S. journalist, critic. "The National Letters," from Prejudices: Second Series, ch. 1, p. 16, Knopf (1920).
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