Thursday, October 16, 2014

A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

At my bedside table, a copy of David Stouck's biography of the architect Arthur Erickson, who affected me at the memorial for art historian and curator Doris Shadbolt some eleven years ago, when he said, "We have lost the ability to converse with one another, have conversations."

This was a comment that brought to mind a line from Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One (1948), when Sir Francis Hinsley, sitting in the fading light of his backyard in West Hollywood, and on the topic of Americans, turns to the younger Barlow and says: "Always remember that, dear boy. It's the secret of social ease in this country. They talk entirely for their own pleasure. Nothing they say is designed to be heard."

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