The Liar

“He was always doing that these days. Everything he saw became a symbol of his own existence, from a rabbit caught in headlights to raindrops racing down a window-pane. Perhaps it was a sign that he was going to become a poet or a philosopher: the kind of person who, when he stood on the sea-shore, didn’t see waves breaking on a beach, but saw the surge of human will or the rhythms of copulation, who didn’t hear the sound of the tide but heard the eroding roar of time and the last moaning sigh of humanity fizzing into nothingness. But perhaps it was a sign, he also thought, that he was turning into a pretentious wanker.”

“The Daisy Chain Club may provoke tears, recriminations, hasty expulsions and even hastier cover-ups and laughings-off. But long hair, pot and real rebellion, they provoke anger, hatred and madness. When young people shag each other off in the dorms they are engaging in a charming old custom, a time-honoured ritual: the only reason that there are expulsions is that the tradition is hard to explain to tearful mothers and snide newspapers. But when boys say that they would rather be drummers than barristers, gardeners than businessmen, poets than soldiers, that they don’t think much of examinations and authority and marriage, that when they are of age they intend to remake the world to fit them, not remake themselves to fit the world, then there is Trouble.”

“But why should his future self sneer at what he was now? It was terrible to know that time would lead him to betray everything he now believed in.

What I am now is right, he told himself. I will never see things as clearly again, I will never understand everything as fully as I do at this minute.

The world would never change if people got sucked into it.”

— Stephen Fry / The Liar.

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