Thursday, May 7, 2009

"At Erich's evenings, Hermann Broch, tall and stooped, with a face as long and fine as a Saluki's, descended from his studio to join the group around the table when coffee was served … Pulling on his pipe, he might talk in a rather preoccupied way about 'twilight consciousness,' or be very down-to-earth about a New Yorker cartoon. It was not how well one understood philosophical ideas in a foreign language that measured one's comprehension, he said; it was one's grasp of the humor. The New Yorker was the weekly test he gave himself. Failure to understand even one caption made him gloomy. He would show it to John and me, and ask us to explain what to him was incomprehensible."

— Eileen Simpson, Poets in their Youth, 99-100