Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ugly idols

A sour view of social life from George Eliot. For me this is one of Eliot's most uncomfortable quotes, almost impossible to read through without thinking of real people one knows or once knew. 

The beings closest to us, whether in love or hate, are often virtually our interpreters of the world, and some feather-headed gentleman or lady whom in passing we regret to take as legal tender for a human being, may be acting as a melancholy theory of life in the minds of those who live with them – like a piece of yellow and wavy glass that distorts form and makes colour an affliction. Their trivial sentences, their petty standards, their low suspicions, their loveless ennui, may be making somebody else’s life no better than a promenade through a pantheon of ugly idols.
George Eliot – Daniel Deronda.


Macheath said...

Eliot lived in simpler times; these days, the same would apply to a variety of social and news media as well, amplifying the distortion to overwhelming proportions.

In passing, I think 'a pantheon of ugly idols' is as perfect a description of the Mail Online's sidebar as you'll ever find.

(w/v graybro - rather appropriately for the mood of this post)

A K Haart said...

M - yes, including the BBC. Don't understand "w/v graybro" though.

Macheath said...

I've spent far too long in conversation with my 18-year-old son;

"You is way too grey, bro' - lighten up!"

A K Haart said...

M - ah I see - I was born grey.