The late Pascal Pia was a writer who’d known everyone and seen everything. Among his memories was that of a decrepit journalist, a familiar dogsbody in newspaper offices of the nineteen-thirties, who’d arrive by the last tube train to scribble reports of boxing matches for the early editions. This was Rodolphe Darzens, one-time poet and last surviving friend of Villiers de l’ Isle-Adam. Darzens was the guardian of Villiers’ papers, and, though reduced by poverty to menial reporting jobs, never dreamed of raising much-needed cash by selling his old comrade’s manuscripts – which says something for the loyalty Villiers could inspire.
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'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
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'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'