Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Going for the Sake of Going

J.B. Priestley, Outcries and Asides (London: Heinemann, 1974), pp. 87-88:
In 1856 Peacock's old novel, Melincourt, was reprinted and he wrote a new preface for it. Observing the changes that had taken place, he wrote:
'Thirty-nine years ago, steam-boats were just coming into action, and the railway locomotive was not even thought of. Now everybody goes everywhere: going for the sake of going, and rejoicing in the rapidity with which they accomplish nothing....'
If he could spend just half a day in our age of the internal combustion engine, when millions and millions every weekend set out just because they own a car, not knowing or caring where they are going, Thomas Love Peacock would be out of his mind.
Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885),
Gnome Watching a Railway Train


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