This particular stuff I am reading is Book Slut, and she linked to this article in London Review of Books (la) by Mary McCarthy, talking about Henry James (rebuttal – or agreement? – to TS Eliot saying “He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it” whch is really quite amusing, and also, James. Never could read him. Now I know why) and here’s this idea laid out as pretty as you please;

… What I should like to bring out now is another peculiarity: that though James’s people endlessly discuss and analyse, they never discuss the subjects that people in society usually do. Above all, politics. It is not true that well-bred people avoid talk of politics. They cannot stay away from it. Outrage over public events that menace, or threaten to menace, their property and privilege has devolved on them by birthright (though it can also be acquired), and they cannot help sharing it when more than two meet, even in the presence of outsiders, which in fact seems to act as a stimulant. This has surely been so from earliest times, and James’s time was no exception, as we know from other sources.

So there. “As it was in the beginning…” Although, really. There’s a fine line to tread here.


Imagine all these flowers as actually being a vivid purple. Damn pixels.

And those morning glories? Third year of re-seeding. I didn’t water them much last year. They barely bloomed. Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I had a thousand seedlings appear.

(Actually, the petunias aren’t too far off – just add imaginary blue to them.)