05 October 2011


As I went downstairs I heard Bill singing, "Irony and Pity. When you're feeling... Oh, Give them Irony and Give them Pity. Oh, give them Irony. When they're feeling... Just a little irony. Just a little pity..." He kept on singing until he came downstairs. The tune was: "The Bells are Ringing for Me and My Gal." I was reading a week-old Spanish paper.
"What's all this irony and pity?"
"What? Don't you know about Irony and Pity?"
"No. Who got it up?"
"Everybody. They're mad about it in New York. It's just like the Fratellinis used to be."
From Fiesta, which I read again recently and enjoyed even more thoroughly. I'm finding it truer by the day that I understood so little of whatever I was reading when I was nineteen or twenty or twenty-one, compared to what I know and understand now at twenty-six. Which means that by the time I'm forty, I'm going to be even more keenly aware of what I missed at twenty-six. Or as a friend put it: "You think that you know what you’re doing, but the whole point of having brains, it seems, is to grasp, in retrospect, that you didn’t."

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