When there are no customers I peregrinate around the bookstore and read bits here and there. Now I pick up in turn Barchester Towers and Conrad’s Victory and read the first chapter of each. What strikes me: Trollope’s description of the grief of the woman servant, who closes the old bishop’s eyes after his death, as a “casual grief”; she dabs at her eyes with a corner of her apron, as servants everywhere must do. And Axel Heyst is bald! – something I do not remember at all from the first reading. I would like to be skewered by an incisive satirist from the nineteenth century, like Thackery – what a relief that would be, as if a doctor had at last diagnosed a mysterious ailment that you’ve been pondering on your own for ages.
"Cardiac slaves of the stars,
We conquered the whole world before getting out of bed,
But we woke up and it's hazy,
We got up and it's alien,
We went outside and it's the entire earth
Plus the solar system and the Milky Way and the Indefinite."
("Tobacco Shop" Álvaro de Campos)