When I was twelve I was obsessed. Everything was sex. Latin was sex. The dictionary fell open at 'meretrix', a harlot. You could feel the mystery coming off the word like musk. 'Meretrix'! This was none of your mensa-a-table, this was a flash from a forbidden planet, and it was everywhere. History was sex, French was sex, art was sex, the Bible, poetry, penfriends, games, music, everything was sex except biology which was obviously sex but not really sex, not the one which was secret and ecstatic and wicked and a sacrament and all the things it was supposed to be but couldn't be at one and the same time - I got that in the boiler room and it turned out to be biology after all.
You'll have a good, secure life when being alive means more to you than security, love more than money, your freedom more than public or partisan opinion, when the mood of Beethoven's or Bach's music becomes the mood of your whole life … when your thinking is in harmony, and no longer in conflict, with your feelings … when you let yourself be guided by the thoughts of great sages and no longer by the crimes of great warriors … when you pay the men and women who teach your children better than the politicians; when truths inspire you and empty formulas repel you; when you communicate with your fellow workers in foreign countries directly, and no longer through diplomats...
The notion that inspired play (even when audacious, offensive, or obscene) enhances rather than diminishes intellectual vigor and spiritual fulfillment, the notion that in the eyes of the gods the tight-lipped hero and the wet-cheeked victim are frequently inferior to the red-nosed clown, such notions are destined to be a hard sell to those who have E.M. Forster on their bedside table and a clump of dried narcissus up their ass.Not to worry. As long as words and ideas exist, there will be a few misfits who will cavort with them in a spirit of *approfondement*–if I may borrow that marvelous French word that translates roughly as ‘playing easily in the deep’–and in so doing they will occasionally bring to realization Kafka’s belief that ‘a novel should be an ax for the frozen seas around us’.
When she realizes that Nigel is having an affair, her first sentiment is satisfaction that she figured it out. Her second is that, despite all the palaver about betrayal, it doesn't feel so terrible.This is pleasing--it demonstrates a certain sophistication. She wonders if his fling might even serve her. In principle, she could leave him without compunction now, though she doesn't wish to. It also frees her from guilt about any infidelities she might wish to engage in. All in all, his affair might prove useful.
Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fallen on hard times,” and then unroll a lot of supercilious commentary about calluses and stance and the state of a man’s boots, when exactly the same comments could apply to a man who was wearing his old clothes because he’d been doing a spot of home bricklaying for a new barbecue pit, and had been tattooed once when he was drunk and seventeen* and in fact got seasick on a wet pavement. What arrogance! What an insult to the rich and chaotic variety of the human experience!
When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.
Anyway, lots of warrior tribes think that when they die, they go to a heavenly land somewhere," said the toad. "You know, where they can drink and fight and feast forever? So maybe this is theirs.""But this is a real place!""So? That's what they believe. Besides, they're only small. Maybe the universe is a bit crowded and they have to put heavens anywhere there's room? I'm a toad, so you'll appreciate that I'm having to guess a lot here.