That’s the way it is: life includes a lot of empty space. We are one-tenth living tissue, nine-tenths water; life is one-tenth Here and Now, nine-tenths a history lesson. For most of the time the Here and Now is neither now nor here.
Ah, children, pity level-crossing keepers, pity lock-keepers – pity lighthouse-keepers – pity all the keepers of this world (pity even school teachers), caught between their conscience and the bleak horizon…
Those TV pictures had looked like scenes from hell. Flames leaping up into the night. Even so, cattle aren’t people. Just a few months later Jack had turned on the telly once again and called to Ellie to come and look, as people must have been calling out, all over the world, to whoever was in the next room, ‘Drop what you’re doing and come and look at this.
And there’s no saying what heady potions we won’t concoct, what meanings, myths, manias we won’t imbibe in order to convince ourselves that reality is not an empty vessel.
That’s why these revolutions always have a whiff of the death-wish about them. That’s why there’s always a Terror waiting around the corner.
A friend of his entered the restaurant, looking too, for whatever reason, a little frail. The was an exchange of token ‘how are you’s and ‘oh, all right’s. Then Alan said, with a rush of cheeriness, ‘Hard work, isn’t it – being all right?
What does education do, what does it have to offer, when deprived of its necessary partner, the future, and face instead with – no future at all?
What is a history teacher? He’s someone who teaches mistakes.
If you can’t stand your own company alone in a room for long hours, or, when it gets tough, the feeling of being in a locked cell, or, when it gets tougher still, the vague feeling of being buried alive–then don’t be a writer.