Marginalia, no.26

‘My son: I have for the purposes of this novel been your mother for the past eighteen years and five months to the day.’

~ B.S. Johnson, Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry

The weight of convention, in fiction as in life, is something like the weight of the atmosphere at sea level: inescapable but hardly noticed.  The work of rising above it is like climbing a mountain.  The higher up one gets the giddier one feels, and the more enlightening the view can be.  The trouble is that sooner or later it becomes impossible to breathe.  The trick is to learn to love the thin air and rocky pinnacles while not despising your native shoreline.  As Jules Renard put it: “To have a horror of the bourgeois is bourgeois!”

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