It was culture as class performance, literature fetishized for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterward feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about.
Rooney, Sally. Normal People (p. 228). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.
I reflected that man is the veriest slave of custom, and that many points in the routine of his existence are deemed essentially important, which are only so at all by his having rendered them habitual.
— From the Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaall by Edgar Allan Poe
In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found. Nature herself seemed to afford me corroboration of these ideas.
— From The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaall by Edgar Allan Poe