27 maart 2012

Mitford: Uncle Matthew

De 'Uncle Matthew' in de romans van Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) is deels gebaseerd op haar vader, Lord Redesdale.
It was a favourite superstition of Uncle Matthew’s that if you wrote somebody’s name on a piece of paper and put it in a drawer, that person would die within the year. The drawers of Alconleigh were full of little slips bearing the names of those whom my uncle wanted out of the way, private hates of his and various public figures such as Bernard Shaw, de Valera, Gandhi, Lloyd George, and the Kaiser, while every single drawer in the whole house contained the name Labby, Linda’s old dog. The spell hardly ever seemed to work, even Labby having lived far beyond the age usual in Labradors, but he went hopefully on, and if one of the characters did happen to be carried off in the course of nature he would look pleased but guilty for a day or two.
(N. Mitford, Love in a Cold Climate (1949), dl. 1, hst. 16; gecit. n. Penguin-ed. 1978, pp. 148-149.)

1 opmerking:

  1. Nancy Mitford's "Don't tell..." werd me ooit, toen ik in Parijs woonde door Albert de Kluijver aangeraden. Haar boeken werken verslavend, ze valt nooit uit de toon, en doet me vaak glimlachen, zoals ook deze keer, met die passage. Dankjewel Jaap!