Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alan Bennett: wise, excellent, funny

Been reading Alan Bennett's enormous prose collection Untold Stories. He writes beautifully and (time to resort to cliché) is the master of the "wry observation". I'm only 200 pages in, but here are three favourites so far:

"It's a sign of my age that shoe shops seem nowadays to be staffed by sluts, indifferent, unhelpful and with none of that matronly dignity with which the selling of shoes and the buying of clothes were in those days conducted. It is a small loss..."
from 'Untold Stories'

30 January 1997: Meats is a form I don’t care for, the proper plural of meat being meat. Perhaps meats (on a van: 'British Premium Meats') means cooked meats, though meat would still be acceptable there, too. Meats suggests to me something not only cooked but sliced, and already beginning to curl at the edges. Odd that one should have any feelings, let alone care, about such usages.
Diaries 1996-2004

8 May 1997, New York: The names Americans visit on their children never cease to amaze me. One of Diana Ross’s daughters labours under the name of Chudney.
Diaries 1996-2004

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