Choices, or sacrificing one’s luggage

Wise words on choices from Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point: Lucy shook her head. ‘Perhaps it’s a pity,’ she admitted.  ‘But you can’t get something for nothing.  If you like speed, if you want to cover the ground, you can’t have luggage.  The thing is to know what you want and to be ready to payContinue reading “Choices, or sacrificing one’s luggage”

“I imagine, therefore I belong and am free”

Lawrence Durrell in Justine (Faber Fiction Classics) on the poet Cavafy: [Balthazar] had been a fellow-student and close friend of the old poet, and of him he spoke with such warmth and penetration that what he had to say always moved me. ‘I sometimes think that I learned more from studying him than I didContinue reading ““I imagine, therefore I belong and am free””

The idea of ‘progress’ lambasted in Aldous Huxley’s “Point Counter Point”

‘Progress!’ [Lord Edward] echoed, and the tone of misery and embarrassment was exchanged for one of confidence.  ‘Progress!  You politicians are always talking about it.  As though it were going to last.  Indefinitely.  More motors, more babies, more food, more advertising, more money, more everything, for ever.  You ought to take a few lessons inContinue reading “The idea of ‘progress’ lambasted in Aldous Huxley’s “Point Counter Point””

A cab driver anecdote from Sukhdev Sandhu’s “Night Haunts: A Journey through the London Night”

‘A woman went to get a taxi with her son at the Isle of Dogs.  At the street corner it was all whores hanging around waiting for trade.  “Mum, mum: what are all those women doing?”  Mum was embarrassed, but quick-thinking: “I expect it’s the sailors’ wives waiting for their husbands to come back fromContinue reading “A cab driver anecdote from Sukhdev Sandhu’s “Night Haunts: A Journey through the London Night””

Aldous Huxley in “Point Counterpoint” on the British Empire

There was no breeze except the wind of the ship’s own speed; and that was like a blast from the engine-room.  Stretched in their chairs Philip and Elinor watched the gradual diminution against the sky of a jagged island of bare red rock.  From the deck above came the sound of people playing shuffle-board.  WalkingContinue reading “Aldous Huxley in “Point Counterpoint” on the British Empire”

An Anthony Powell character on being a writer

From Books Do Furnish A Room (Dance to the Music of Time)   “[Trapnel] borrowed literally to keep alive, a good example of something often unrecognized outside the world of books, that a writer can have his name spread all over the papers, at the same time net perhaps only a hundred pounds to keepContinue reading “An Anthony Powell character on being a writer”