Monday, 10 August 2009
The great writer came to a dirty little puddle which had the temerity to block his path. He could walk around it if he wished, but he didn't wish. So his two hands, between fingers and thumb, clutched, refinely, his trouser legs a little above each knee, and keeping his eyes most closely focused on the little puddle, raising his right leg daintily, he began to step over the obstacle. Life was flowing madly all round him but his concentration was undiverted, he refused to be distracted and safely crossed over, unblemished. He later wrote a beautiful story of his adventure, conveying much if not all of the excitement and danger involved. Upon publication he was praised for his devotion to his craft, the transmutation of perilous and dirty realism into elegant form, and also the deeply polished irony, even with a hint, much to his credit, of self-mockery with which the experience had been recounted.