I’m reading Daniel Mendelsohn’s NYRB review of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s last book.
It’s a fine review — perceptive, affectionate but also critical. PLF was a charming writer but he was also a show-off and a bit of a cad. Still, when he was on song he was terrific. As in this passage from another of PLF’s books, Mani, quoted by Mendelsohn:
I often have the impression, listening to a Greek argument, that I can actually see the words spin from their mouths like the long balloons in comic strips…:the perverse triple loop of Xi, the twin concavity of Omega,…Phi like a circle transfixed by a spear…. At its climax it is as though these complex shapes were flying from the speaker’s mouth like flung furniture and household goods, from the upper window of a house on fire.
”The government can’t govern and the opposition doesn’t want to oppose.”
Andrew Rawnsley writing in today’s Observer.
From this morning’s Observer:
Theresa May is facing a growing revolt among party donors, with one senior backer warning that the Tories will be “decimated” at an election unless the prime minister ends her indecision and shows leadership.
With mounting accusations across the party that May is dithering over Brexit and lacking an inspiring domestic agenda, Sir John Hall, the former owner of Newcastle United, told the Observer that the prime minister was facing a make-or-break period of her premiership. wipeout
If one is being pedantic (and one is) this doesn’t sound like much of a threat. Losing a tenth of her MPs in an election would not be good news for Mrs May, but it wouldn’t be the wipeout that Sir John is envisaging. Could it be that he has fallen prey to the dreaded Etymological fallacy?
This morning’s Observer column:
It has taken an age, but at last politicians seem to be waking up to the societal problems posed by the dominance of certain tech firms – notably Facebook, Twitter and Google – and in particular the way they are allowing their users to pollute the public sphere with extremist rhetoric, hate speech, trolling and multipurpose abusiveness.
The latest occupant of the “techlash” bandwagon is Theresa May, who at the time of writing was still the UK’s prime minister…
Seen from Clare bridge, one evening recently. I was walking in to give a talk in Trinity Hall and just stopped briefly to take in the scene.
Click on the image to see a larger size.
The beach at Cley-next-the-Sea, one Sunday morning recently.