13 August 2007

How to Recognise Different Parts of the Body

Number 27: The Larch

With the myriad entertainments available to us today, it is little wonder that men have ceased buying literary fiction altogether, and thus little wonder that I can't sell my novels. After all, when you can take a photograph of your leg, and e-mail it to a friend thousands of miles away, why would you bother reading, or doing anything else at all?

Above you will see a photograph illustrating my point: Jon Feldstein sent it to me. Some luddite fogeys would say this indicates that Jon has nothing better to do with his time. And in the Good Old Days, they would tell you moreover, "we didn't need digital technology. We pulled the lint out of our own navels, and we liked it," they'd say. Well, that is old-fashioned thinking, and I'll have none of it.

For Jon is a cultivated gentleman, the sort of man who has been known to go to an art museum just to look at the art. (Well, mostly.) Who dares question him? Who dares suggest he has too much free time? And who indeed will not join him in admiring his leg, which is in itself a work of art?

As, indeed, is the other leg. For Jon, like so many cultivated gentlemen today, has two.

And so I offer his picture — which is not merely Jon's picture, but a portrait of all of us, and of our times.