Wednesday, December 31, 2008

At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances

At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances by Alexander McCall Smith

From the opening paragraph:

Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld's birthday fell on the first of May. He would not always have remembered it had the anniversary not occurred on May Day itself; as a small boy he had been convinced that the newspaper photographs of parades in Red Square, those intimidating displays of missiles, and the grim-faced line-up of Politburo officials, all had something to do with the fact that he was turning six or seven, or whatever birthday it was. Such is the complete confidence of childhood that we are each of us at the centre of the world - a conviction out of which not all of us grow, and those who do grow out of it sometimes do so only with difficulty. And this is so very understandable; as Auden remarked, how fascinating is that class of which I am the only member.

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