Monday 20 November 2017

Fraud: Strangely Contented

He was strangely contented. Every morning he devoted to being ill, and every afternoon to getting better. He listened to The Archers and the afternoon play. This was his favourite time. With the advent of the news and the more serious programmes he was reminded that he was fifty-one, a responsible citizen, and a businessman who was due in New York the following week, all of which information struck him as highly unwelcome.
Anita Brookner, Fraud, ch. 15

I don't know whether non-British readers will appreciate the authenticity and charm of this passage. Brookner is speaking here of BBC Radio 4, the nation's main speech radio channel. Many people structure their day according to its comforting and predictable rhythms; I have done this myself. In the small hours it goes off air and the frequency plays the World Service, which George Bland in A Private View listens to through the night. Menus plaisirs, but pleasures all the same.

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