The Drunk & The Damned

May 6th, 2007 § 0 comments

“His wife was easier. After fifteen years of incessant guerrilla warfare he had conquered her—it was a war of muddled optimism against organized dullness, and something in the number of “yes’s” with which he could poison a conversation had won him the victory….fifteen years of yes’s had beaten Mrs. Gilbert. Fifteen further years of that incessant unaffirmative affirmative, accompanied by the perpetual flicking of ash-mushrooms from thirty-two thousand cigars, had broken her. To this husband of hers she made the last concession of married life, which is more complete, more irrevocable, than the first—she listened to him. She told herself that the years had brought her tolerance—actually they had slain what measure she had ever possessed of moral courage.”

It is quite nice to find that someone has a much harsher, more cutting way of putting things than I do. I am forever shocking the other grad students for the way I talk about people and situations, they always say, “well yeah I agree only I would never say it…” Every conversation I have with people seems to end with me walking away pondering all the things I should not have said, and wondering at how many things I thought were fine to say that the whole school will be talking about later. Gossip at VCU can travel the entire building in five minutes, but some kind of obvious truth stops the workings and becomes a scandal. Jack lost his crit class this semester, which I found interesting because we have all been talking about how nice it would be if someone else taught it, just for another perspective of course. Someone wondered if someone had talked to Sonya, and all eyes turned to me….and I didn’t, not about that anyway! After 378 pages of The Beautiful and Damned, I respect F Scott a little more for his cutting way with words. I don’t really know how to describe his manner of looking at things, as it seems cynical, but his is too involved with life and the world to be a real cynic, it is not bitter because there is too much beauty in his story, so I decided the other day at dinner that it was angry. He is not like Camus, who I imagine would sit casually sipping coffee while the world ended. I get the feeling that somehow life let him down, and he knew it, and ranted a good deal about it in his books. I am not sure why anger would not lead to bitterness, but maybe they stem from different motivations or feelings. I like his sense of tragedy.


“He was haunted by the suggestion that life might be, after all, significant.”

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