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We are all amateurs here

“If every day and all day long you chatter at high pitch and with the logic an lucidity of the Frenchman; if you shout in self-assertion, with your hat on your stomach, bowing from a stiff spine and by implication threaten all day long to shoot your interlocutor, like the Prussian; if you are as lachrymally emotional as the Italian, or as drily and epigrammatically imbecile over unessentials as the American, you will have a noisy, troublesome, and thoughtless society without any of the surface calm that should distinguish the atmosphere of men when they are together. You will never have deep arm-chairs in which to sit for hours in clubs thinking of nothing at all—or of the off-theory in bowling. On the other hand, in the face of death — except at sea, by fire, railway accident or accidental drowning in rivers; in the face of madness, passion, dishonour or—and particularly—prolonged mental strain, you will have all the disadvantage of the beginner at any game and may come off very badly indeed. Fortunately death, love, public dishonour and the like are rare occurrences in the life of the average man, so that the great advantage would seem to have lain with English society; at any rate before the later months of the year 1914.” – Ford Madox Ford, Some Do Not…

Published inEconomicsFord Madox FordLit & CritPolitics & LawThe Great War

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