Thursday, 17 November 2011

Out of strange materials

Nick Clegg
I like this quote from Wilkie Collins - for the way it describes a certain self-centred, casualness. A kind of loose and fashionable attitude to serious matters, made from a position so secure and privileged that nothing is ever likely to topple it or even cause it any undue disturbance.

It was a common predicament with him not to know his own motives, generally from not inquiring into them. There are men who run breathlessly - men who walk cautiously - and men who saunter easily through the journey of life. Valentine belonged to the latter class; and, like the rest of his order, often strayed down a new turning, without being able to realize at the time what purpose it was which first took him that way. Our destinies shape the future for us out of strange materials.

Wilkie Collins - Hide and Seek


Sam Vega said...

Excellent stuff. The danger of never questioning one's own assumptions is, of course, that one can appear to be determined and principled, whereas one is really vapid and unheeding. And the problem as far as politics is concerned is that there is a lot of credibility in appearing detached and cool, and doing things with a sense of loping ease. Obama is another such. I wonder what both men are like in private. Part of me wants to hear that they are prone to rages, panic, self-doubt, and fractious tears.

James Higham said...

Ah yes - the connection is apt.

A K Haart said...

SV - I suspect they can turn on the charm in private, but what's behind the facade few get to know.

JH - yes he's a type we've had around for a long time and we shouldn't elect them.