Friday, June 20, 2008


More from TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU by Kingsley Amis. A character speculates about a large house he is visiting: "'The money that must have gone into this. And the upkeep must be something quite staggering. I'd like a wee glance at the details of Mr Ormerod's monthly income, I must say. Where it all derives from, in particular.' Then he quietened down, like somebody who knows he has let on being a little too interested in how they manage the floggings in prisons." Just a few pages later comes this strand of pearls, a bit twisted up, but that's part of the fun of it: "Anna was not much of a one for underplaying, and had been known to get what was probably most of what was probably the way great foreign actresses went on (especially, probably, in plays where one great foreign actress was acting the part of another great foreign actress from years ago) into things like passing the sugar or picking up a newspaper." Three scant paragraphs after that, there's this fragment of dialogue: "Do you think he was brought up in the most weird morbid sort of way by some ghastly maiden aunt or something, you know with all harmoniums and aspidistras and antimacassars and things? Sort of vicar's son going to the dogs thing?"