Then Creusa’s wraith spoke, and at the sound of her voice his (Aeneas’) clammy skin ceased to creep.
N. B. Taylor, The Aeneid of Virgil, illus. Kiddell-Monroe ( London: Oxford University Press, 1961).
Reading a child a book I must have read once, but not in the last thirty years, I find I have a feeling like a memory of a memory of the plot and a very clear memory for a specific plot detail, even the fragment of a sentence. For thirty years some structure, some arrangement of soft brain stuff, has preserved this memory, has kept it safe amidst the electronic storm, the biochemical ferment, of my working, living brain. It is trivial memory, almost worthless but for the marvel of remembering. It is a memory which, but for for the chance of this rereading, I would have kept but never remembered. Nonetheless it has been stored across almost half a lifetime. What wonderful principle, what wonderful mathematics, makes this possible? That’s what I would love to know.
A Different Stripe: Richard Griffiths, Olivia Manning's Husband, and The History Boys -
Flipping through the recently released biography of Olivia Manning (Olivia Manning: A Writer at War), we were surprised to see the name of Richard Griffiths, who died last week, jump out. If you’ve read The Balkan Trilogy (and are anticipating our publication of The Levant Trilogy next…
The great bronze doors of the lounge had torn away from their hooks and were swinging free with the roll of the ship; regularly and, it seemed, irresistibly, first one, then the other, opened and shut; they paused at the completion of each half circle, began to move slowly and finished fast with a resounding clash. There was no real risk in passing them, except of slipping and being caught by that swift, final blow; there was ample time to walk through unhurried, but there was something forbidding in the sight of that great weight of uncontrolled metal, flapping to and fro, which might have made a timid man flinch or skip through too quickly; I rejoiced to feel Julia’s hand perfectly steady on my arm and know, as I walked beside her, that she was wholly undismayed.
“Bravo,” said a man sitting near by. “I confess I went round the other way. I didn’t like the look of those doors somehow. They’ve been trying to fix them all morning.” — The bronze doors in Brideshead Revisited.
(Source: honeynsalt, via colinjmorris)
Mitch Ansara - Man Blowing a Bubble
Fresh off the boat train in Euston, [Enright pere] approached a man who looked like the stereotype of a city gent for being impeccable – pinstriped suit, furled umbrella, bowler hat – and asked if he knew the time. The man took his watch out of his fob pocket, and looked at it, and said that he did. Then he put the watch back. My father said: ‘So. Could you tell me what it is?’
‘No,’ said the man, and he shook out his newspaper, leaving my father to walk away. — Anne Enright (via smokinggunt)
“I said, ‘Well, I have difficult decisions I have to make.’ He said, ‘What is it?’ And I told him. And he said at once, ‘Yes, of course you have to do it,’ and I said, ‘Yes, but I have to blow up with the colonel.’
“He got up from his chair, went to the window, looked out of the window for a moment, and then he turned and said: ‘Yes, you have to do that. A man who doesn’t take such a chance will never be happy again in his life.’ ” —
Ewald Heinrich von Kleist recalls his discussion with his father about a plan, subsequently aborted, that would have seen him blowing himself up with Hitler. From his NY Times obit: