Denis Wright is gone and, perhaps because I never met him, I still haven't grasped that I really won't receive cheery tweets or emails from him ever again, (and what a tribute to him it is that his messages were invariably cheery, even in the midst of dire health crises).
It is a strange new development that it is now possible to miss someone you never met - strange, perhaps, but also good. It proves that the Internet is not an instrument of alienation, as so many waffling articles claim, but quite the opposite: something that can bring together people who would never have known each other otherwise, allowing those, like Denis in his later months, who cannot physically go out into the world to go out into it with words.
Actually, that is what I call genuine progress.
Anyway, it was Denis who suggested occasional posts of commonplaces, and this one in the series is dedicated to him:
Silliness is always funny. Terry Jones
Give me motorway cafes over MTV any day of the week. Will Self, an interview with The Idler, 1993
That easy democratic affability that is the mark of all true aristocrats. Angela Carter, The Kitchen Child
...some minds are stronger and apter to mark the differences of things, others to mark their resemblances. Francis Bacon, The New Organon
I have from time to time lost my money and my dignity, Hercule, but I have never lost my taste. Countess Vera Rossakoff to Poirot in ITV's The Labours of Hercules
Never underestimate how extraordinarily difficult it is to understand a situation from another's point of view. Reverend Devlin in The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (which starts so well and then dribbles out into very little, I felt) - and note how similar that sentiment is to Penelope Fitzgerald's here.
`To Oneself at Night' - I’ve heard fiction writers of varying levels of accomplishment read their work aloud – William Gaddis, Stephen Millhauser, John Gardner, Chinua Achebe, Pet...
1 hour ago