A misty morning.
Yesterday at dinner a man walked across the dining-room and thanked me for writing my books. He then wrote a note and sent it to me via the maitre d'hotel, apologising for his bad form. In this note he excused himself by saying that he had just parted from a son - gone to Singapore for five years. I think he had had too much to drink.
See also, 'Social contrasts' - January 2nd., http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/an-entertaining-evening.html
Elizabeth Lewis came for lunch, and Harry Preston had a special grouse cooked for us. Harry, wife and child drove us to his country house, beyond Burgess Hill, for tea, and we had to have eggs for tea. It is a small house with large grounds. the kennels are his pride bull-terriers. He was very 'down' on Alsatians, which he said were the rage but were very treacherous and soon reverted to the wolf.
I have been reading "A l'ombre des jeune filles en fleurs" (Proust), and I still maintain that it is a bit on the dry side, though very good. It doesn't impassion me. I shouldn't care much if I didn't read any more of it. It lacks juice. It has almost no concern with anything except analysis of views and feelings - especially snobbishness. No landscapes, no furniture, no corporate life. No general 'feel' of things. This sort of business satisfies Walkley, but it could never satisfy me, in a novelist.
Good sleep last night but I did have a strange dream, which Huxley might have turned into a novel. I was living in a society which was increasingly controlled by the state. In particular the citizens were like automatons, going about their lives quietly, efficiently, apparently contentedly, but with no freedom of will. I was part of a group dedicated to overthrowing this state of affairs. In the dream I was aware that the powers that be were on to us and intentionally hung back when our group attacked an omnibus with the aim of 'liberating' the passengers. I escaped when all my fellows were ambushed and killed or captured. Then I realised I had a choice to make: live as an outlaw; live in society but pretending to be conditioned like the rest; submit to conditioning. I woke up undecided!
Additionally for August 23rd., see 'Spotting spies' - http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/sunday-august-23rd.html