Monday, June 21, 2004

But hatred is best combined with Fear. Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful - horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember; Hatred has its pleasures. It is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of fear. The more he fears, the more he will hate. And Hatred is also a great anodyne for shame. To make a deep wound in his charity, you should therefore first defeat his courage.

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (136)

Saturday, June 19, 2004

As he left the bar with Christine at his side, Dixon felt like a special agent, a picaroon, a Chicago war-lord, a hidalgo, an oil baron, a mohock. He kept careful control over his features to stop them doing what they wanted to do and breaking out into an imbecile smirk of excitement and pride. When she turned and faced him at the edge of the floor, he found it hard to believe that she was really going to let him touch her, or that the men near them wouldn’t spontaneously intervene to prevent him. But in a moment there they were in the conventional pseudo-embrace, actually dancing together, not very skilfully, but without doubt dancing. Dixon looked past her face in silence, afraid of any distraction from the task of not leading her into a collision, for the floor was a good deal more thickly populated than a quarter of an hour earlier. Among the dancers he recognized Barclay, the Professor of Music, dancing with his wife. She permanently resembled a horse, he only when he laughed, which he did suddenly and seldom, but was momentarily to be seen doing now.

Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim (113-114)