last line from John Banville’s review of Joan Didion’s new memoir Blue Nights,
“However, it is most profound, and most provocative, at another level, the level at which the author comes fully to realize, and to face squarely, the dismaying fact that against life’s worst onslaughts nothing avails, not even art; especially not art.”
“High-quality challengers may be deterred by large war chests, but other factors such as local political conditions and incumbent quality are more important: in most cases, a much-despised incumbent with a lot of money is in a worse position than a much-liked incumbent with very little money.”
“Although it is generally seen as desirable that parties in government are both representative and responsible, these two characteristics are now becoming increasingly incompatible.”
“Let’s go our old way
by the stream, and kick the leaves
as we always did, to make
the rhythm of breaking waves.
This day draws no breath –
shows no colour anywhere
except for the leaves - in their death
brilliant as never before.
Yellow of Brimstone Butterfly,
brown of Oak Eggar Moth –
you’d say. And I’d be wondering why
a summer never seems lost
if two have been together
witnessing the variousness of light,
and the same two in lustreless November
enter the year’s night…
The slow-worm stream - how still!
Above that spider’s unguarded door,
look – dull pearls…Time’s full,
brimming, can hold no more.”
If I were to write an essay instead of a play about any of these subjects it wouldn’t be a profound essay.
Tom Stoppard (via theparisreview)