I'm currently reading Kenneth Williams' diaries which I'm enjoying but, it has to be said, is a pretty hefty tome! I intend to review it on completion.
Throughout, however, there have been a number of moments where things have been said which could have been written in the last year, rather than in the fifties, sixties or seventies (I'm currently up to 1978). Here's just three examples which have stuck in my mind.
First, an excerpt from an extended entry regarding his purpose in professional life and a section which discusses the Arts Council, although that is not what grabbed me about this particular bit, as will be clear:
"Of course, like so much else which starts out nobly (viz. News of the World newspaper) it seems that the years lend corruption and lay a glazed meaning or interpretation over original motives."Friday-Wednesday 2nd-7th February 1951
Next, an excerpt which could have relevance in today's economic climate:
"Went in to Louie [his mother] and saw the State Opening of Parliament on TV. It was terribly funny. The Queen in fabulous robes talking about 'my government's need to economise because of balance of payments deficits' and wearing a Crown with enough precious stones to raise several millions."Tuesday 29th October 1974
(That entry concludes with "When she came to the bit about a Wealth Tax, I thought she ought to stop, point to the crown and say, 'I hope you're not going to include this?' It would have got a big laugh.")
Finally, I imagine we'll see sentiment to this effect from some quarters a little later in the year:
"Everything seems utterly bleak to me and all these jubilee celebrations malapropos; in a time of economic recession, the Queen should have set an example of austerity: thousands of pounds wasted on processions and bonfires, which could have been used for better purposes."Tuesday 7th June 1977
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. That's your actual French, that is.