Monday, May 25, 2009
Reading Hill yesterday left me incapable of taking anything seriously - anything but Hill, that is - particularly the latest from Westminster. I see nice Alan and weird Ed have broken ranks.... er, hmmm, well, I suppose these people are necessary to maintain a country in which Hill is free to write, not that one hears much about freedom these days - only about 'rights' or crazy babbling from 'libertarians' - , or writing. This state of mind makes me feel young again - younger, purer and nastier. As I think I have said before, for at least half of my life I regarded an interest in politics as a sure sign of low intelligence and high insensitivity. There were much more important and urgent matters with which one could concern oneself, many involving the shattering volume available from the giant old radio Nige used as a speaker in his room at Cambridge. There was also poetry, for example... er, hmmm, well, no that can turn political on you in an instant. Being young for me meant withdrawal into colder, higher ground - a delusion, of course, but I'm not making any claims here, only outlining a pathology, a disease of feeling. This time, however, it is impossible to ignore the connection between the higher and the lower. Hill's meditations in Style and Faith concern the England of the seventeenth century when modern Westminster was formed, not least in the imaginations of our writers, the very Westminster that now snivels for our attention with its lynch mobs, its lobby-fodder wretches and our ghastly leader who can't even make a decision not to make a decision. Of course, I'm not saying it's all been downhill.... er, hmmm, well, yes I am.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:45 am