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Baffled at a Bookcase
July 23, 2011 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Alan Bennett returns to the library.
I have always been happy in libraries, though without ever being entirely at ease there. A scene that seems to crop up regularly in plays that I have written has a character, often a young man, standing in front of a bookcase feeling baffled.
posted by adamvasco (3 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I enjoyed this, thank you!

And, the mystery of the cat's meat man solved.
posted by misha at 11:15 AM on July 23, 2011

Lovely, thank you.
posted by paduasoy at 11:44 AM on July 23, 2011

I have always been happy in libraries, though without ever being entirely at ease there.

Dear Alan Bennett: please stop trying to have your cake and eat it. You are one of Britain's most famous and distinguished writers, universally loved and respected, a living national treasure. It is no longer credible to present yourself as a gauche provincial grammar-school boy cold-shouldered by the literary establishment. For God's sake, man, grow up! Drop this pretence of 'never being entirely at ease', these claims of suppressed resentment at 'feeling shut out', these fantasies of being at 'a cocktail party with everybody standing with their back to me'. No one knows the English tone of voice better than you do, so I don't need to tell you that this disarmingly modest, self-deprecating tone of yours is the classic protective camouflage of the English intellectual. We love you for it, but we're not fooled by it. Please stop pretending to be an outsider, and accept your celebrity gracefully.
posted by verstegan at 2:43 PM on July 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

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