Amidst all the meaty, important, political posts by other RBCers, I am afraid this one is solely intended to share some very fine writing by Anthony Powell (Yes, I am *still* reading Dance to the Music of Time...)
In the sixth novel, the protagonist’s father is limned in a few priceless sentences that are evocative and funny at the same time. It takes more than a little skill for a writer to create such a vivid image of a character and to establish an emotional tone around him using so few words:
He used to read in the evenings, never with much enjoyment or concentration. “I like to rest my mind after work”, he would say. “I don’t like books that make me think”. That was perfectly true. In due course, as he grew older, my father became increasingly committed to this exclusion of what made him think, so that finally he disliked not only books, but also people – even places – that threatened to induce this disturbing mental effect.
He hid in his heart a hatred of constituted authority. He did his best to conceal this antipathy, because the one thing he hated, more than constituted authority itself, was to hear constituted authority questioned by anyone but himself.