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Nora Waln

  • Writing is something that I am ever driven to do, and concerning which I am never satisfied.

  • [In China at that time:] The penalty for adultery is death by strangulation. Mai-da's mother has added the following note to this section; 'Adultery is a feminine vice. Copulation on the man's part is not his wife's concern, unless he sires a child. Then she must accept the child as one of his homestead.'

  • I was most confusedly in love. ... Even though I resolved not to think of him, his face would keep appearing between me and a book I tried to read, or his voice would suddenly sound instead of the words I tried to write on a page. ... I found love annoying and uncomfortable, like fetters, until I got used to it.

  • Time in China has no immediacy as in America. Here I find the swift passage of our few earthly years accepted as naturally as the fall of flower and leaf. ... I hear and speak a language in which grammar has no tense. Both scholars and illiterates, in ordinary daily speech, tell an event of centuries ago as casually as an incident of the hour. Only as my knowledge has accumulated have I been able to know whether something related happened just then or in some past dynasty.

Nora Waln, U.S. writer, journalist

(1895 - 1964)