Arnon Grunberg


This afternoon

Presently, I’m reading “Lucky Jim” by Kingsley Amis.
It’s my first introduction to his work.
The dialogues are terrific and most of the comedy works well: ‘ “Ah, just caught you,” Dixon said convivially. “Thought you’d gone without me. Professor,’ he added nearly too late.
The other raised his narrow face, distorted with wonder.
“Gone,” he asked. “You’re…” “You’re taking me home for tea,” Dixon enunciated. “We arranged it on Monday, at coffee-time, in the Common Room.” He caught sight of his own face in the wall-mirror and was surprised to see that it wore an expression of eager friendliness.
Welch had been flicking water from his hands, a movement he now arrested. He looked like an African savage being shown a simple conjuring trick. He said: “Coffee-time?” “Yes, on Monday,” Dixon answered him, putting his hands into his pockets and bunching his fists.
“Oh,” Welch said, and looked at Dixon for the first time. “Oh. Did we say this afternoon?” He turned aside to a streaked roller-towel and began a slow drying of his hands, watching Dixon alertly.
“That’s right, Professor. Hope it’s still convenient.” “Oh, it’s convenient enough,” Welch said in an unnaturally quiet voice.’

But the best sentence till now (I’m halfway through) can be found in the introduction by David Lodge.
It’s a Graham Greene quote: “He felt the loyalty we all feel to unhappiness, the sense that that is where we really belong.”