Sunday, 18 August 2013

It was a perfect title...


From Lucky Jim (1954) - by Kingsley Amis:


Dixon looked out of the window at the fields wheeling past, bright green after a wet April.

It wasn't the double-exposure effect of the last half-minute's talk that had dumbfounded him, for such incidents formed the staple material of [Professor] Welch colloquies; it was the prospect of reciting the title of the article he'd written.

It was a perfect title, in that it crystallized the article's niggling mindlessness, its funereal parade of yawn-enforcing facts, the pseudo-light it threw upon non-problems.

Dixon had read, or begun to read, dozens like it, but his own seemed worse than most in its air of being convinced of its own usefulness and significance.

"In considering this strangely neglected topic," it began. This what neglected topic? This strangely what topic? This strangely neglected what?

His thinking all this without having defiled and set fire to the typescript only made him appear to himself more of a hypocrite and fool.


One of my favourite passages from the funniest comic novel I have ever read.