Saturday, 10 August 2013

The picture swam out of nothing

This week Profile sent me a couple of advance copies of Armchair Nation, which is out on 5 September. Too late to include it in the book, but I came across this nice description of a TV watcher in Elizabeth Taylor’s 1964 novel The Soul of Kindness:

'He sat down opposite it, waiting for it to warm up, his hands clasped across his stomach, his face wearing a patient expression. That nuisance cat Flore had given him came to rub against his legs but he pushed it aside. He was all ready to pass judgment. The picture suddenly swam out of nothing, following the sound. A quiz programme. Two rows of people facing one another. A pompous, schoool-masterly man asking the question. Those answers that Percy knew he spoke out loudly and promptly; when he was at a loss, he pretended (as if he were not alone) that he had not quite caught the question, or was too busy blowing his nose to make his reply, or had to go to help himself to whisky.’

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