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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Berg, Vera- men, women

War and Peace, volume II part III chapter 20.
"Berg smiled with a sense of his own superiority over a feeble woman. He paused and reflected that this charming wife of his was indeed a feeble woman, incapable of ever attaining any of the qualities needed for masculine prowess- 'ein Mann zu sein', as the Germans put it. Meanwhile Vera was also smiling, with her own sense of superiority over a decent, well-behaved husband, who nevertheless, as she saw it, took such a wrong view of life- as all men did. Berg judged women by the standards of his own wife and considered all of them feeble and foolish. Vera judged men by the standards of her own husband and, extrapolating from him alone, she found all men conceited and self-centred, each convinced he was the only one with any sense whereas he didn't actually understand anything at all."

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