Days Like These

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
16 August, 1824

JOHANN ECKERMANN

records in his diary:

"My conversations with Goethe have lately been very abundant, but I have been so much engaged with other things that... only the following detached sentences are found... in my diary; the connection between them, and the occasion that gave rise to them, I have forgotten. `Men are swimming pots, which knock against each other. In the morning we are shrewdest, but also most anxious; for even anxiety is a species of shrewdness, though only a passive one. Stupidity is without anxiety. We must not take the faults of our youth into our old age; for old age brings its own defects.'"

16 August, 1936

LOUIS MACNEICE

writes a verse letter from Iceland:

"I have got here, you see, without being sick/ On a boat of eight hundred tons to Reykjavik./ Came second-class - not air but many men;/ Having seen the first-class crowd would do the same again./ Food was good, mutton and bits of fishes/ A smart line-up of Scandinavian dishes - /Beet, cheese, ham, jam, smoked salmon, gaffalbitar/ Sweet cucumber, sausage and Rye- Vita."

18 August, 1944

NORMAN LEWIS

with British Field Intelligence in Italy writes in his diary:

"I have... moved into the Hotel Vesuvio (in Benevento), once pride of the town, and possessing not only 10 bedrooms but the only Turkish bath in the province... Following the great air raid, only one large room remains, a corner of which contains 20 or 30 hatstands, as many spittoons, and a small grove of potted palms. This... serves as cafe or restaurant, and at midnight, Japanese screens are produced and four iron beds normally standing on end against the walls are lifted into position. I sleep on one of these, much troubled by mosquitoes and heat."

Comments