on Grahame Greene, Stamboul Train, which I have not read, though I have read a number of his others and forgotten them, must try harder "One must see unblinkingly into the pettishness and self-deception of the human condition. Innocence is another word for prey. Survival is the law." Seems about right to me. Also, excellent to bring the word "pettishness" back into the vocabulary.
on Evelyn Waugh, just the joyful little phrase we do not use often enough "Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole" - en passant, he says Bruce Chatwin was an overrated society traveller. So indeed he was. "they had loitered of old on many a doorstep and forced an entry into many a stricken home" (of journalists) - well, quite so. Waugh does not seem to use many commas, perhaps I have become more American in my wish to use them.
on Byron, very interesting, except I have never read Byron, I grew up in in a Romantic age, but the last thing any of us wanted to do was to read the Romantic poets, at least in my circles. And of course Byron died young. Which is the Romantic thing to do. Oh and by the way old Lordy-babe's recipe for apricot fool is fab. I use it every summer.
on James Joyce - well, how silly I am, I had not thought before this that I should read the Odyssey and then read Ulysses again. Incidentally we are having a Bloomsday here in Strasbourg next month, vg. But which edition should I read? (Of the Odyssey, obviously).
I'll finish up with Hitchens tomorrow. Because I've got a lot more to say. About other things. I can't do Hitch justice.