Monday, March 3, 2014

"A Handful of Gems Slipping From Palm to Palm"

If you love have not yet had the opportunity to read the Patrick Melrose novels of Edward St. Aubyn, hie thee now away to some literary purveyor, acquire them, and begin at once to read.  You will thank me.

A few quotes to whet your appetite.

* * *

David’s methods of education rested on the claim that childhood was a romantic myth which he was too clear-sighted to encourage.  Children were weak and ignorant miniature adults who should be given every incentive to correct their weakness and their ignorance.  Like King Chaka, the great Zulu warrior, who made his troops stamp thorn bushes into the ground to harden their feet, a training some of them may well have resented at the time, he was determined to harden the calluses of disappointment and develop the skill of detachment in his son. 

….  It was no use expecting gratitude from [his son], although one day he might realize, like one of Chaka’s men running over flinty ground on indifferent feet, how much he owed to his father’s uncompromising principles.

* * *

He longed continually for an uncontaminated solitude, and when he got it he longed for it to stop.

* * *
[on an Professor]  Nevertheless, like a masterful broom, his new book had scattered the dust long settled on the subject of Identity, and swept it into exciting new piles.

* * * 

Heroin landed purring at the base of his skull, and wrapped itself darkly around his nervous system, like a black cat curling up on its favorite cushion.  It was as soft and rich as the throat of a wood pigeon, or the splash of ceiling wax onto a page, or a handful of gems slipping from palm to palm.

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