Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 23 September 2010

And all the rest is just talk

Conversation is rare and I travel afar – to The Blogger’s Retreat and beyond – to search it out. But what am I searching for? Well, for a start, conversation avoids the obvious. Material topics are allowed but abstract ones are better. Shared humour is essential. Both those taking part must know something the other does not. Conversation is distant from argument. It nurtures the unexpected. It may contain but not massage an ego. It should not depend on a good education. The participants must practice allusion. Conversation is basically good-humoured. It can go on for hours.

You know you’re having a good one when, after three pints of beer, you’re bursting for the loo but cannot bear to break off. Conversationt is rare, as I said. It is evanescent though it may survive in hurried – usually inadequate - notes. It represents the more or less selfless entwining of two spirits and can briefly convince you that mankind is worthwhile.

SCAN-DALOUS My reaction to the recent beatification of Cardinal Newman is best summarised by the German throwaway: Es ist mir einerlei, the basis of Rhett Butler’s valediction to Scarlett. But before Newman became a Roman Candle he was CofE and wrote a hymn, Praise to the Holiest in the Height. He was thought to be an intellectual - the nose proclaims it - so how come the lines (inexplicably absent from my Songs of Praise):

Unharmed upon the eternal rock
The eternal city stands

don’t scan? I speak as a debutante versifier, toiling in the vineyards, looking for light. And don’t give me “th’eternal” as an excuse.