Off topic: Revisiting J. B. Priestley
Thread poster: claudia bagnardi
Wanted to share with you the final speech of Professor Linden in Priestley's The Linden Tree. Hope you like (re)reading it:
"History, to be worthy of the name, should bring us a stereoscopic view of man's life. Without that extra dimension, strangely poignant as well as vivid, it is flat, and because it is flat it is false. There are two patterns, endlessly being superimposed on one another. The first pattern is that of man reproducing himself, finding food and shelter, tilling the land, building cities, crossing the seas. It is the picture we understand now with ease, perhaps too easily. For the other pattern is still there, waiting to be interpreted. It is the record of man as a spiritual creature, with a whole world of unknown continents and strange seas, gardens of Paradise and cities lit with hell-fire, within the depths of his own soul. History that ignores the god and the altar is as false as history that could forget the sword and the wheel...".
Nice, isn't it?
| Some more JBP || Mar 23, 2004 |
To the question of the main character's daughter "Why can't we be as hard as steel?", Professor Linden strikes back:
"Because it would do us more harm than good. The dinosaurs had that idea - it was probably the only idea they did have - and so they grew more and more armour, thicker and thicker scales, bigger and bigger claws and spikes - all to be hard and tough and safe - until they were like hundred-ton tanks - and couldn't move, couldn't feed themselves, couldn't mate - and were done for. Then came the turn of the soft little monkey people, who could adapt themselves - us."
Beside these tender ways of conveying humanity, I love the way Priestley deals with time.
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Revisiting J. B. Priestley
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