Despite his upbringing, surrounded by books and learning as the son of a man who became vice-chancellor of Oxford, snobbery never touched him. He loved red wine, but the quantity mattered rather than the quality. His idea of an elegant dinner was macaroni cheese with a kipper thrown in, and with pages of the Financial Times (for which he had written from Paris) spread on the table as a cloth. His decade in Africa in the 1960s made him feel “in more vainglorious moments” that he was a black-Africa buff and an old Kalahari hand, but he approached the place humbly: at his school at Shashe River he dug fields and scrubbed latrines with the rest.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Paragraph of the day
From the Economist’s obituary of Robert Oakeshott, a passionate advocate of workers’ co-operatives who inadvertently damaged Doris Lessing (the full obit is here):