Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Uncomplicated Pleasures

In his introduction to the Unquiet Grave, Cyril Connolly asks us to consider his "obsession with pleasure at a time when nearly all pleasures were forbidden" (xii). Later he observes that "angst ... lurks in old loves and old letters or in our despair at the complexity of modern life" (p.43). I think it is in this light that we should read Clive Fisher's description of Jean Bakewell, Connolly's first wife, as "an uncomplicated hedonist" who "was to prove one of the more liberating forces in his life" (A Nostalgic Life, p. 105).

Given all the drudgeries and miseries we are made to endure, it seems to me, our self-denial of simple pleasures, those that our bodies are perfectly capable of producing for ourselves or for each other with little or no material assistance, is puzzling, to say the least.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog post!