Peony, by Pearl Buck
Liberalism’s kindliest error is its overanxious leap from the concrete to the general. Concreteness is always involved in our interest in individuals, but the liberal, in his response to larger groups, likes to depend upon whatever in them is “essentially” human, or French, or Jewish. Such squeamish patronage leads Pearl Buck to describe Judaism in her novel as an intense disembodied force with no reference to the natural manifestations of an ethnic culture or to the actual lively surface of Jewish life.
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