Saturday, October 4, 2008

"A Hundred Years' War"

music: Calexico - Roka

"Despite the troops mustering in the Gulf, or the tanks out at Heathrow on Thursday, the storming of the Finsbury Park mosque, the reports of terror cells around the country, and Bin Laden's promise on tape of 'martyrdom attacks' on London, Perowne held for a while to the idea that it was all an aberration, that the world would surely calm down and soon be otherwise, that solutions were possible, that reason, being a powerful tool, was irresistable, the only way out; or that like any other crisis, this one would fade soon, and make way for the next, going the way of the Falklands and Bosnia, Biafra and Chernobyl. But lately, this is looking optimistic. Against his own inclination, he's adapting, the way patients eventually do to their sudden loss of sight or use of their limbs. No going back. The nineties are looking like an innocent decade, and who would have thought that at the time? Now we breathe a diffrent air. He bought Fred Halliday's book and read in the opening pages what looked like a conclusion and a curse: the New York attacks precipitated a global crisis that would, if we were lucky, take a hundred years to resolve. If we were lucky. Henry's lifetime, and all of Theo's and Daisy's. And their children's lifetime too. A Hundred Years' War."

-- Ian McEwan, Saturday

[thank you for the book, R.]

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