A Moment of Self-Absorption

Mary Chestnut writing about the impact of the war:

Last January, I sent for all the English reviews--Atlantic, Blackwoods, Harper's, Cornhill. Threw away my subscription money. How I miss that way of looking at the world. The war has cost me that. How much more?

Perhaps I should be so modest to not mention that the notation of The Atlantic caught me. But it's moments like that when you wonder what the departed would have thought of today. Mary Chestnut believed that blacks were "dirty, slatternly, idle, ill-smelling by nature." Two points: 1.) The word "slatternly" is awesome. 2.) What in God's name would she make of this mongrel blog?

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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