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Голсуорси Джон

A Modern Comedy - 5. Swan Song


A Modern Comedy - 5. Swan Song - Голсуорси Джон
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A Modern Comedy – 5

From preface: In naming this second part of The Forsyte Chronicles "A Modern Comedy" the word Comedy is stretched, perhaps as far as the word Saga was stretched to cover the first part. And yet, what but a comedic view can be taken, what but comedic significance gleaned, of so restive a period as that in which we have lived since the war? An Age which knows not what it wants, yet is intensely preoccupied with getting it, must evoke a smile, if rather a sad one.
John Galsworthy
Swan Song

“We are such stuff
As dreams are made on;
and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
The Tempest
Chapter I.
In modern Society, one thing after another, this spice on that, ensures a kind of memoristic vacuum, and Fleur Mont’s passage of arms with Marjorie Ferrar was, by the spring of 1926, well-nigh forgotten. Moreover, she gave Society’s memory no encouragement, for, after her tour round the world, she was interested in the Empire–a bent so out of fashion as to have all the flavour and excitement of novelty with a sort of impersonality guaranteed.
Colonials, Americans, and Indian students, people whom nobody could suspect of being lions, now encountered each other in the ‘bimetallic parlour,’ and were found by Fleur ‘very interesting,’ especially the Indian students, so supple and enigmatic, that she could never tell whether she were ‘using’ them or they were ‘using’ her.
Perceiving the extraordinarily uphill nature of Foggartism, she had been looking for a second string to Michael’s Parliamentary bow, and, with her knowledge of India, where she had spent six weeks of her tour, she believed that she had found it in the idea of free entrance for the Indians into Kenya. In her talks with these Indian students, she learned that it was impossible to walk in a direction unless you knew what it was. These young men might be complicated and unpractical, meditative and secret, but at least they appeared to be convinced that the molecules in an organism mattered less than the organism itself–that they, in fact, mattered less than India.

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