Archive for the '23 Years Old' Category

Twenty-Three Year Old – Denis Stone



They were snorting out of West Bowlby now. It was the next station, thank Heaven. Denis took his chattels off the rack and piled them neatly in the corner opposite his own. A futile proceeding. But one must have something to do. When he had finished, he sank back into his seat and closed his eyes. It was extremely hot.

Oh, this journey! It was two hours cut clean out of his life; two hours in which he might have done so much, so much – written the perfect poem, for example, or read the one illuminating book. Instead of which – his gorge rose at the smell of the dusty cushions against which he was leaning.

Two hours. One hundred and twenty minutes. Anything might be done in that time. Anything. Nothing. Oh, he had had hundreds of hours, and what had he done with them? Wasted them, spilt their precious minutes as though his reservoir were inexhaustible. Denis groaned in spirit, condemned himself utterly with all his works. What right mind had he to sit in the sunshine, to occupy corner seats in third-class carriages, to be alive? None, none, none.

Misery and a nameless nostalgic distress possessed him. He was twenty-three, and oh! so agonizingly conscious of the fact.

Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

Published in: 23 Years Old | on February 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

Twenty-Three Year Old – Jane Wright


Before the grimy window rain fell from a darkening sky on the bomb-sites of Red Lion Square. Jane had looked out in an abstract pose before making her revelation to Nicholas. She now actually noticed the scene, it made her eyes feel miserable and her whole life appeared steeped in equivalent misery. She was disappointed in life, once more.

‘I’ll tell you another fact,’ said Nicholas. ‘I’m a crook too. What are you crying for?’

‘I’m crying for myself,’ said Jane. ‘I’m going to look for another job.’

‘Will you write a letter for me?’

‘What sort of letter?’

‘A crook-letter. From Charles Morgan to myself. Dear Mr Farringdon, When I first received your manuscript I was tempted to place it aside for my secretary to return to you with some polite excuse. But as happy chance would have it, before passing your work on to my secretary, I flicked over the pages and my eyes lit on…’

‘Lit on what?’ said Jane.

‘I’ll leave that to you. Only choose one of the most concise and brilliant passages when you come to write the letter. That will be difficult, I admit, since all are equally brilliant. But chose the piece you like best. Charles Morgan is to say he read that one piece, and then the whole, avidly, from start to finish. He is to say it’s a work of genius. He congratulates me on a work of genius, you realize. Then I show the letter to George.’

Jane’s life began to sprout once more, green with possibility. She recalled that she was only twenty-three, and smiled.

Muriel Spark, Girls of Slender Means

Published in: 23 Years Old | on February 7th, 2010 | No Comments »