Wisdom on Wednesdays—Complete freedom of speech

Self-portrait, 1911

Self-portrait, drawing on paper, 1911

“When it came to freedom of speech, my disillusionment was profound.  I found that a large list of subjects were taboo, if one wished to ‘get on.’  I would not have minded if I had not been told that I might express myself freely.  It was the terrible falsehood of the whole thing which shocked and wounded me.

“Mark Twain’s ironic remark that America was the only place in the world where men not only had complete freedom of speech but discretion enough not to use it, left a scar on my ingenuous youth.”  (From the essay “Certain Subjects,” 1941)

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