2008
10.20

Quote

Gradually, but not as gradually as it seemed to some parts of his brain, he began to infuse his tones with a sarcastic wounding bitterness. Nobody outside a madhouse, he tried to imply, could take seriously a single phrase of this conjectural, nugatory, deluded, tedious rubbish. Within quite a short time he was contriving to sound like an unusually fanatical Nazi trooper in charge of a book-burning reading out to the crowd excerpts from a pamphlet written by a pacifist, Jewish, literate Communist. A growing mutter, half-amused, half-indignant, arose about him, but he closed his ears to it and read on. Almost unconsciously he began to adopt an unnameable foreign accent and to read faster and faster, his head spinning. As if in a dream he heard Welch stirring, then whispering, then talking at his side. he began punctuating his discourse with smothered snorts of derision. He read on, spitting out the syllables like curses, leaving mispronunciations, omissions, spoonerisms uncorrected, turning over the pages of his script like a score-reader following a presto movement, raising his voice higher and higher. At last he found his final paragraph confronting him, stopped, and looked at his audience.

— Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis

  1. upvote for nugatory!