Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Joseph Epstein, in Commentary, on friendship among the intellectuals. An excerpt:

An interesting sidelight on this point was offered by George Orwell in a letter to the poet Stephen Spender, written just after the two had met for the first time at a party. Until that point, writes Orwell, he had always thought of Spender as the sort of person he despised: a Communist fellow-traveler, an effete poet, an all-around weak type. He had attacked Spender in print on these very grounds. But in person he found Spender to be rather agreeable, and therefore felt disarmed from ever again criticizing him with a clear conscience. Orwell concluded that it was probably a bad idea to attend parties where one might meet enemies and find oneself liking them.

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