I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A LITTLE BIT OF ALAN BENNETT

HHnB and I recently had an email discussion about Alan Bennett, a wry, gentle author and playwright whom we both enjoy.

One (amongst many) of his bon mots comes in his play and film "The History Boys" and it puts into words something felt, but very hard to express. So perfect and sweet it is that I thought it worth sharing with those who may not know it. The teacher of English, Hector, says to a pupil:

"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours."

Now isn't that just perfect and what would one give to be taught by such a man.

15 comments:

herhimnbryn said...

Yes!

Judith said...

I know that feeling so well, Avus. It seems to validate one's own thinking too, which is so reassuring.

mm said...

What HHB said!

Kay said...

And with that a double whammy - saying what someone else thinks about saying what someone else thinks ... too wonderful!

Barrett Bonden said...

Auden, on telly last night, put it somewhat less romantically. "A poet's best reward is to have someone read his poem and say, 'Oh yes, I knew all that' more or less dismissively."

Avus said...

BB - Yes - I saw the Auden prog too, but did not pick up that comparison - well observed!

Vita said...

Right. I didn't know it, so thanks, because now I do.

Isabelle said...

Indeed. Someone (can't remember who but I have it written down somewhere) wrote about the pleasure of this experience, in which "one's thoughts come back to one with a certain alienated majesty". Quite.

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