Friday 22 March 2024

The Tenor of American Emotional Life

"There’s an American can-do attitude that can be bad for people, and I’m not sure it’s lessening. I have cancer now, and you’re supposed to have a good attitude. To hell with it. How are you supposed to have a good attitude? It would be cuckoo to have a good attitude. There’s something about that general tenor of American emotional life. I consider it a very American problem: the inability to tolerate unpleasant emotions. Some emotions are unpleasant, some experiences are unpleasant, some things are very sad, some things are very frustrating. And that’s okay. You can’t fix it. That’s the way life is."
Susanna Kaysen

photograph by Vivian Maier via