Monday, 9 February 2015

JP Marquand not forgotten in his own country

I have just come across Terry Teachout's blog. Further to my posting about "So Little Time", I was pleased to see Mr Teachout quoting from another of Marquand's books (which I confess I do not know):

On security:

“You never particularly envied security in others until your own was gone. In fact, if you possessed it yourself, you gave it a different name when you observed it in other people. You called it complacency or dullness or unawareness.”

On ideology and intolerance:

“All at once enthusiasms and loyalty and beliefs became very tiresome. The intelligentsia, the bright planners, working on those streamlined blueprints for the brave new world, were always repeating themselves. She had heard enough of the coined jargon that was all mixed up with cheap synonyms. It made no sense. There was something mechanical about Tom and all those boys with minds like steel traps. Minds equipped with dogmatic lucidity. There was some basic lack of understanding in spite of all their aptitudes. They had convictions, but they still seemed to be working out just what the war was all about. They stood for freedom of speech, except for disloyal fascist columnists, freedom from fear, except that Tom was going to put the fear of God into certain industrialists who still lived in the Dark Ages, and freedom from want, except for the obstructionists who could not see the light. Or you could turn to the other side, to the ones who said the country would be ruined by inflation, and that it was being run by crackpots and Communists. It made her sick to death to hear those people talk, too, because they also had their own jargon and their own intellectual foibles. There was no common understanding any longer, no patience or tolerance—nobody even wanted to understand.”
John P. Marquand, B.F.’s Daughter
Now if only I can find a way of persuading Mr Teachout to read Nigel Balchin.

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