Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On sand and indignation marks

So following Tim's reminder of his post about Josepth Roth's What I Saw, I finally bought it. And my, if it wasn't the promised box of glittering delights within. Here are just two of the bits that jumped out at me:

From 'Schiller Park':

Sand is something that God invented specially for small children, so that in their wise innocence of what it is to play, they may have a sense of the purposes and objectives of earthly activity. They shovel the sand into a tin pail, then carry it to a different place, and pour it out. And then some other children come along and reverse the process, taking the sand back whence it came. 
And that's all life is.


From 'An Apolitical Observer Goes to The Reichstag':

The seventy-nine-year-old veteran president, who has a weak voice, receives a call from the right to "Speak up!" That boorish intervention - doesn't it have a familiar ring to it? Wasn't it at a cabaret, where a gentleman, remembering what he'd paid for admission and having ordered up a bottle of wine, called out to the emcee, "Speak up!!!" in such a way that the three exclamation marks, or better - indignation marks - were clearly visible? Oh - and where have I heard that whistling coming from the communist benches? It was in high school, wasn't it, in my junior year! Is it that I've outgrown it because I'm apolitical?

'Indignation marks' is just brilliant, isn't it?

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