"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

Was she, she wondered, giving in to that English need to be facetious. She felt tainted and exhausted by a summer of burning up her moral resources for the sake of small conversational effects. She felt she had been subtly perverted by slick and lazy English manners, the craving for the prophylactic of irony, the terrible fear of being "a bore," and the boredom of the ways they relentlessly and narrowly evaded this fate.

[Englishness: Edward St. Aubyn, Never Mind]

Posted by stronzo on 03.26.2012

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