“One should be no great admirer of innocence, in either narratives, individuals, or cultures. Where it’s genuine, after a certain age it’s unbecoming, off-putting, even freakish and dangerous. Where it’s false, it’s false. To admire it much is patronizing and sentimental; to aspire to it is self-defeating. Let us admire—in cultures, narratives, and people—not innocence, but experience and grace.”
—John Barth, The Friday Book.
(In case it is not already apparent, The Friday Book is highly recommended.)