Archive for July, 2011
I’m going through some old notes and came across an interesting tidbit about Graham Greene and the Victorians.
The context, briefly: A 1966 review in the Times Literary Supplement tackled a new biography of a Victorian general, and the reviewer questioned the biography author’s belief in the general’s “death wish.” Graham Greene wrote a Letter to the Editor in response, and here’s the relevant bit:
The popular writer does not describe a new obsession – he is quick to describe one which had already been obvious for a long time. Men and women did go to Africa to die… In our age – perhaps because of that boring bomb – the will to survive has become the main obsession, and critics demand more objective evidence of the death wish than they demand of the survival wish.
I have only the briefest memories of the late stages of the Cold War, and none of the years when nuclear warfare seemed like a real threat, so I find this idea – that the atom bomb could radically alter our relationship to our own mortality – seriously interesting.
Plus, how great is the phrase “that boring bomb”?
Since my last update I’ve traveled from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula and along the Oregon and California coasts. It’s mostly been a national/state parks camping trip, with urban breaks in San Francisco and Los Angeles, my southernmost stop. I’m in Las Vegas now, looking forward to a loop through southern Utah before I head north towards home.
A few shots from the trip so far: