A mini-vacation from law and lawsuits

Nothing to do with law and lawsuits, but while reading the New Yorker this morning, I found this exquisite bit from James Wood, in the January 21, 2013 New Yorker, at the beginning of his Personal History article, “Becoming Them: Our parents, our selves:”

Nietzsche says somewhere that the industrious, virtuous English ruined Sundays. I knew this at the age of twelve—that is, the Sunday part and the ruination part. When I was growing up, Sunday morning was all industry and virtue, a religious bustle: the dejected selection of formal clothes (tie, jacket, gray trousers); a quick pre-ecclesiastical breakfast; lace-up shoes handed to my father, master of the polishing arts (that oily Kiwi cake, glistening in its tin like food). Then the eternal boredom of church, with its ponderously enthusiastic adults. And, after that, Sunday lunch, as regimented as the Hapsburg Sunday lunches of brisket of beef and cherry dumplings that the Trotta family east week after week in “The Radetzky March.” A joint of beef, or of lamb, or of pork, with gravy, roast potatoes, and a selection of fatally weakened vegetables (softened cauliflower, tattered Brussels sprouts, pale parsnips, all boiled punitively, as if to get the contagion out of them.)

I fell madly in love with those “fatally weakened vegetables.”


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