These beautiful words were written by Edith Wharton, an American novelist, short story writer, and designer who was born on 24 January 1862
She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1921 for her novel “The Age of Innocence”
She loved dogs, although she seldom included them in her fiction: they were the only friends allowed in her bed where she spent her mornings scribbling. Dogs offered her consolation and companionship throughout her life, from her lonely childhood to her unhappy marriage.
Her Massachusetts estate had a cemetery with headstones for several of her dogs.
She wrote that her love for dogs “seemed to have its source in a curious sense of being somehow, myself, an intermediate creature between human beings & animals, & nearer, on the whole, to the furry tribes than to homo sapiens. I felt that I knew things about them—their sensations, desires & sensibilities—that other bipeds could not guess; & this seemed to lay on me the obligation to defend them against their human oppressors.” (1)
She also spoke of “the usness in their eyes … is so tragic a reminder of the lost age when we human beings branched off & left them: left them to eternal inarticulateness and slavery. Why? Their eyes seem to ask us” (2)
🐕 “Il mio piccolo cane – un battito di cuore ai miei piedi” 🐕
(1) Il suo amore per i cani “sembrava provenire nella curiosa sensazione di essere in qualche modo, io stessa, una creatura intermedia tra esseri umani e animali, e più vicina, nel complesso, alle tribù a quattro zampe che all’homo sapiens. Sentivo di sapere cose su di loro – le loro sensazioni, i desideri e la sensibilità – che altri bipedi non potevano indovinare; e questo sembrava impormi l’obbligo di difenderli dai loro oppressori umani “.
(2) “Il senso di ‘essere noi’ nei loro occhi … è il tragico promemoria di un’età perduta in cui noi esseri umani ci siamo ramificati e li abbiamo abbandonati: li abbiamo abbandonati all’eterna incapacità di articolare parole e alla schiavitù. Perché? I loro occhi sembrano chiedercelo “
Image: ‘The New Yorker’ 13 February 2012 – Photograph from Estate of Edith Wharton / Beinecke Library, Yale University