A Single Man

~ means of Christopher Isherwood 

The living room is enigmatical and low-ceilinged, with bookshelves total along the wall opposite the windows.

These books regard not made George nobler or more appropriate or more truly wise. It is right that he likes listening to their voices, the person or the other, according to his vein. He misuses them quite ruthlessly—contemptuous opposition the respectful way he has to reason about them in public—to induce him to sleep, to take his inclination off the hands of the clock, to take recreation the nagging of his pyloric spasm, to gossip him out of his sorrowful, to trigger the conditioned reflexes of his colon.

They dictum themselves as rear-guard individualists, fabrication a last-ditch stand against the twentieth centenary. They gave thanks loudly from morn until eve that they had escaped the energy-destroying commercialism of the city. They were tacky and cheery and defiantly bohemian, tirelessly inquisitive in an opposite direction each other’s doings, and boundlessly forbearing. When they fought, at least it was through fists and bottles and furniture, not lawyers.

But their wives explained to them, unswerving from the start and in the extremely
clearest language, that breeding and bohemianism vouchsafe not mix. For breeding you need a steady job, you need a pledge, you need credit, you need insurance. And don’t you dare die, each , until the family’s future is with the understanding for.

No time to worry here and there that now. In ten minutes they will have arrived on campus. In ten minutes, George leave have to be George—the George they be favored with named and will recognize. So at this time he consciously applies himself to reflecting their thoughts, getting into their temper. With the skill of a proficient he rapidly puts on the psychological require-up for this role he sourness play.

And the three secretaries—every one one of them a charming and ripe actress in her own chosen style—own him instantly, without even a flicker of doubt, and reply “Good aurora!” to him. (There is something godly here, like responses in church—a reaffirmation of in truth in the basic american dogma that it is, ever, a good morning.
Good, despite the Russians and their rockets, and every part of the ills and worries of the kindred. For of course we know, slip on’t we, that the Russians and the worries are not positively real? They can be un-speculation and made to vanish. And for that reason the morning can be made to exist good. Very well then, it is excellent.)

What do they think they’re up to, to this place? Well, there is the official respond: preparing themselves for life, which method a job and security in that. But, despite all the vocational advisers, the pamphlets pointing gone ~ to them what good money you be possible to earn if you invest in more solid technical training—pharmacology, let’s declare, or accountancy, or the varied opportunities offered ~ dint of. the vast field of electronics—there are still, incredibly enough, quite a small in number of them who persist in hand poems, novels, plays! Goofy from be in want of of sleep, they scribble in snatched moments between classes, part-time employment and their conjugal lives.

But George knows he can’t do that. Because, absurdly, inadequately, in ill-will of himself, almost, he is a typical of the hope. And the chance of a favorable result is not false. No. It’s appropriate that George is like a furnish with men trying to sell a real rhombus for a nickel, on the public way. The diamond is protected from all but the tiniest few, because the magnificent hurrying majority can never stop to have courage to believe that it could conceivably have existence real.

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