Sunday, July 01, 2012

Languor


The American biologist Edward O. Wilson is quoted thus:

“Adults forget the depths of languor into which the adolescent mind decends with ease. They are prone to undervalue the mental growth that occurs during daydreaming and aimless wandering” 

I was sure that there was a much earlier quote in which adolescence and the condition of languorousness were linked, by someone more literary, perhaps Waugh or Maugham, but I can't place it now.

Back in the 1990s, we used to have a poster, from one of those shops like Athena and it was a black and white photo of a young guy, wearing what looked like pyjamas but which I think were supposed to be some variation on 'rural' garb, lying in a cornfield doing absolutely nothing. R in particular had a bit of a thing for that poster and we kept it for years. So when I saw this photo for sale I couldn't really not stick my hand in my pockets for a few pounds.

2 comments:

Self-effacing ghost said...

I think you may be thinking of this passage from Brideshead Revisited, the opening paragraph of Chapter Four:

"The languor of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth - all save this - come and go with us through life. These things are a part of life itself; but languor - the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding - that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it. Perhaps in the mansions of Limbo the heroes enjoy some such compensation for their loss of the Beatific Vision; perhaps the Beatific Vision itself has some remote kinship with this lowly experience; I, at any rate, believed myself very near heaven, during those languid days at Brideshead."

Callum said...

Thank you - that's exactly what I was thinking of...

thank you so much for taking the time to supply the whole, wonderful quote.

CJ

 
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