Company too up to a point

Three Men Walking (1948) - GiacomettiThese days I spend most hours of most days in company, whether that of family, colleagues or clients. I would almost certainly prefer to be either alone or in company with two or three at most.

As always, Beckett captures the disorienting nature of company to the self-contained:

Leave it at that. Confusion too is company up to a point. Better hope deferred than none. Up to a point. Till the heart starts to sicken. Company too up to a point.

Although I suppress my discomfort of crowds for opera and concerts, it is often with a sense of heartsickness and restlessness. While jammed in with thousands of spectators I am anticipating the moments when I will be in my little room amid books, to meditate on the show, take notes and read the programme. Somehow the memories are more exquisite when taken apart from the clamour of a crowd.

Author: Anthony

To quote Samuel Beckett's letter to Thomas MacGreevy (25 March 1936), 'I have been reading wildly all over the place'. Time's Flow Stemmed is a notebook of my wild readings.

4 thoughts on “Company too up to a point”

  1. This is the very point I emphasized in my last post on Emma. Amazing how Austen could create a character 200 years ago (to this month!) who feels the same way we do. Read the last quote, if you wish, and know that you are not alone in this sentiment.

    1. Thank you Bellezza for the message of sympathy. That fragment of Emma was spot on in emphasising the importance of choosing one’s company wisely:

      “…’here are we setting forward to spend five dull hours in another man’s house, with nothing to say or hear that was not said and heard yesterday, and may not be said and heard again tomorrow.”

      1. Yes, that’s the quote I meant! I was “afraid” you might think I meant the very, very last quote which is rather the opposite of what we’re expressing. At any rate, may you be surrounded by the books and people you love, and not an excess of either. Which is also my hope for myself. 😉

  2. Well, “Hell is other people” and “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” 🙂

    Emma, a fellow reader who needs alone time to refuel.

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