They could take the money from building enough nukes to kill all the Russians in the world and give it to libraries. What good does an independent nuclear deterrent do Britain, compared to the good of libraries?
This novel is for everyone who has ever studied any monstrosity of history, with the serene satisfaction of being horrified while knowing exactly what was going to happen, rather like studying a dragon anatomized upon a table, and then turning around to find the dragon's present-day relations standing close by, alive and ready to bite.
Good, I said. And we will do the same. But I miss him. I miss him like I miss Mother. Of course we'll honor their memory, and of course their souls have gone on to new lives, but I hadn't finished talking to them in this life. I knew what death meant now. It was conversations cut off.
I don't think I am like other people. I mean on some deep fundamental level. It's not just being half a twin and reading a lot and seeing fairies. It's not just being outside when they're all inside. I used to be inside. I think there's a way I stand aside and look backwards at things when they're happening which isn't normal.
I got to help make dinner. You can't imagine the pleasure of wiping mushrooms and grating cheese when you haven't had a chance to do it for a long time. Then eating food you have cooked, or help cook, always tastes so much better. Auntie.
What do you want to be, free or happy? How about if they really are mutually exclusive options? What is freedom anyway? How does humanity govern itself when each person can have anything they want? How does humanity govern itself when nothing is natural?
I was inclined to drift away from the sum to wonder why people would care what time two trains passed each other (spies), be so picky about seating arrangements (recently divorced people), or—which to this day remains incomprehensible—run the bath with no plug in.
Maybe some of the masters really believed they could make it work, but I think what they really wanted wasn't to do it themselves but for somebody else to have made it real and for them to have been born there.