Monday 21 June 2021


'Copilul râde:
“Înţelepciunea şi iubirea mea e jocul!”
Tânărul cântă:
“Jocul şi-nţelepciunea mea-i iubirea!”
Bătrânul tace:
“Iubirea şi jocul meu e-nţelepciunea!”

'The child laughs:
“My wisdom and love is play!”
The young man sings:
“My play and wisdom is love!”
The old man is silent:
“My love and play is wisdom!”'
Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet, novelist and philosopher

I read many books of parodies at university. I found some in the University Library, a place I very rarely entered. The funniest parodies were '"Summer at Blandings" as it would have been had it been written by Kafka' and '"The Castle" as it would have been had it been written by P.G. Wodehouse.' The former began, '''What ho" said K.'

"You were made for enjoyment, and the world was filled with things which you will enjoy, unless you are too proud to be pleased with them, or too grasping to care for what you cannot turn to other account than mere delight. Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.“ John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice

"London had ceased to have its old glamour. The eighteenth-century flavour which had entranced me on coming down from Oxford had wholly departed, leaving a dull mercantile modern place." John Buchan speaking of 1903. It is much more true now, though London is much better now than the seedy place it was in the 1960s and 1970s.

"The only true gnosis is love." Dr Martin Israel - how I wish I had met this South African Jew who was converted to Christianity by a black servant as a little boy, 
who wrote the standard textbook on histopathology, became an Anglican priest and a spiritualist and authority on demons, angels and other psychic phenomena.

"It is such an obvious point, but none of the Saints ever dissented from Church teaching. Conversely, those people who did were not very admirable people, eg Henry VIII, Luther, etc."
Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, with whom I had the honour of drinking champagne at his club.

"The heroes of the Maastricht Treaty debates ensured that Britain secured an opt-out from the euro. A start. Then John Major lost the 1997 General Election.... John Major, Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine would have been in charge if they had won in 1997, and they would have tried to take us into the euro in the first wave. Their defeat in 1997 was the next key step on our path to Brexit."

Andrew Lilico

"How many girls - and we’re largely talking about teenagers here - consciously embark upon a career of mothering bastards because it seems a good way of getting money and accommodation from the State? Ah. You didn’t like the term bastard? No, I didn’t think you would." Kevin Myers, An Irishmans's Diary, The Irish Times, 8 February 2005. What a great (and reckless) writer he is. He had to apologise for that and lost his career because of a remark about Vanessa Feltz. Personally I esteem unmarried mothers because they resist pressure to have abortions. I suppose a few do it for the pocket money the state gives them. 

Scurryfunge (verb)
sku-ree-fun-j Old English; to rush around cleaning when company is on their way over.

“We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under. The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public.

"The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes. They are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners. They are happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives. This happens to nearly all of them sooner or later. People in the second category, on the other hand, can always come up with the eyes they need.

"Then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love. Their situation is as dangerous as the situation of people in the first category. One day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the room will go dark.

"And finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present. They are the dreamers.”
Milan Kundera

1 comment:

  1. Ian Fleming’s quote about why he disliked Paris for me equally applies to London

    its heart was gone - pawned to the tourists… who had gradually taken the town over... You could see it in the people's eyes - sullen, envious, ashamed".