Welcome to our blog!

It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!

This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Crude gambits

Friday, March 21st., Cadogan Square, London.

At Ethel Sands' at tea yesterday - Leslie, brother of Shane Leslie sat next to me on sofa, and after a time said, "Are you interested in Russia at all?" After my reply he went on to say that he had been there last autumn, and I must say that he replied very intelligently and carefully to all my questions. But what struck me was the crudity of his gambit. He  was full of Russia and he opened in that way.

He left and Cynthia Noble took his place; a very fashionable young woman, probably only about 20-21, with a perfectly maquillee, etc. face. I almost immediately began with her on my subject of late hours, drugs (aspirin chiefly), cocktails, liqueurs, and salts; all of which I cursed. I was glad to find that she was prepared to talk about salts. She agreed with me as to cocktails, but not in much else. 

However, what struck me a long time afterwards was that I had opened on my subject just as young Leslie had opened on his. It seems that most so-called conversation amounts to an alternating outpouring of pre-formed ideas, and the strongest (or most determined) character has most to say. Is much gained from conversation? Apparently not, but they pass the time.

Additionally for March 21st., see 'Trying times'

I had to order the meals and wrestle with the French cook this morning. So that by 10.30, after I had seen Dorothy twice, although I had had a very calm pre-prandial time (from 6.30 to 8.30), I was beginning to have a headache and felt dans tous mes etats. I went out for an idea-finding walk, and got to the South Kensington museum and sat down in a corner, and no sooner had I done so than four workmen came to disturb me by moving trestles. No sooner had they gone than the ideas came to me in a vague but satisfactory rush; and I walked straight out again. I saw Dorothy a third time, and exactly at 12 sat down to work and at 12.35 had actually written 700 words. It seems as if nothing can stop me from working just now.

No comments:

Post a Comment