Quotation by Mary McCarthy

The exile is a singular, whereas refugees tend to be thought of in the mass. Armenian refugees, Jewish refugees, refugees from Franco Spain. But a political leader or artistic figure is an exile. Thomas Mann yesterday, Theodorakis today. Exile is the noble and dignified term, while a refugee is more hapless.... What is implied in these nuances of social standing is the respect we pay to choice. The exile appears to have made a decision, while the refugee is the very image of helplessness.
Mary McCarthy (1912–1989), U.S. author, critic. "A Guide to Exiles, Expatriates, and Internal Emigrés," Occasional Prose, Harcourt (1985).
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