Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A different approach to parties

On Monday, I shared a party scene from Malcolm Bradbury's Eating People Is Wrong in which an early guest made himself a bit too much at home. Today I'll share a passage where that party's host, now attending a do at someone else's house, makes himself at home in a less intrusive, but hardly more appropriate way:
"Did you bring a book to read?" asked Viola, when Treece had had time to thaw a little. This was a reference to the fact that, at parties, Treece had a habit of reading in a corner, with his back to the assembled company; there was a famous occasion when, at a faculty dinner, he got through A Farewell to Arms.
I am not at my best at parties. I have a bad habit of finding the people I know and sticking close to them, then leaving fairly early. But at least I'm not that bad. The most I've ever gotten through at a party is a very short story.

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