Thursday, May 23, 2013

A diplomat's brief

I don't know what I'm defending. Or what I'm representing; who does? 'A gentleman who lies for the good of his country,' they told us with a wink in London. 'Willingly,' I say. 'But first tell me what truth I must conceal.' They haven't the least idea. Outside the Office, the poor world dreams we have a book bound in gold with POLICY written on the cover .. God, if only they knew.

He finished his wine.

Perhaps you know? I am supposed to obtain the maximum advantage with the minimum of friction. What do they mean by advantage, I wonder: power?

I doubt whether power is to our advantage. .. The opposite of love isn't hate; it's apathy. Apathy is our daily bread here. Hysterical apathy. 

Have some more Moselle.

  For more than 50 years, 
  John Le Carré has quiet-
  ly been depicting the re-
  lationship of espionage 
  to everyday life. The ex-
  tinguishment of the Cold
  War infamously drove the
  leadership of the West to
  discover new emergencies,
  to sustain the permanent
  investment in defense. He
  has followed them with
  tools he refined as a
  practicing historian of
  their method, which has
  been as constant as their
  underlying anxiety; and
  he has shown them to be

  He has a new book. Its
  frontispiece bears the
  promise from John Donne:

  No winter shall abate
  the spring's increase.

John Le Carré

A Small Town in
William Heinemann, 

A Delicate Truth

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