Monday, 14 November 2016

"That year's version of hello"

'"I can't believe it," people said, almost with passion.  It was that year's version of hello.  "I can't believe it," people said, on the beach, on the slopes, in hotel lobbies, in cells, at parties.  Apparently incredulous, astounded, people met.  Sometimes the rejoinder was "For God's sake," as in "Harry!  Maude!  I can't believe it." "Marilyn!  Well, for God's sake."  Sometimes people changed it slightly.  When we had just come back to the office, a middle-aged couple, he with the heartiness of another era, she with a certain trembly superstition, met in the elevator only yesterday.  "Well, as I live and breathe," he shouted.  "Touch wood," she replied."

Renata Adler, Speedboat [1976] (New York: NYRB Classics, 2013): 111

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