Friday, September 14, 2007

Takes one to know one

Philip Larkin on Thomas Hardy and the codger question:

"Without doubt Hardy, like others of his century, was forever on the look-out for some sign that humanity was improving, and his failure to perceive one produced many occasional bitter utterances ('After two thousand years of mass / We've got as far as poison gas'), and it is curious to note that both he and Shaw see time as a necessary ingredient of man's spiritual and moral advance. Shaw's view is that we must live longer: Hardy's is rather that we must get old quicker or, like the little boy 'Father Time,' be born old. Both, in their different ways, are asking man to grow up." (Required Writing, 171-172)