Archive for the '37 Years Old' Category

Thirty-Seven Year Old – Thomas Buddenbrook

 

Our desires and our performance are conditioned by certain needs of our nervous systems which are very hard to define in words. What people called Thomas Buddenbrook’s ‘vanity’ – his care for his personal appearance, his extravagant dressing – was at bottom not vanity but something else entirely. It was, originally, no more than the effort of a man of action to be certain, from head to toe, of the adequacy and correctness of his bearing. But the demands made by himself and by others upon his talents and his capacities were constantly increased. He was overwhelmed by public and private affairs. When the Senate sat to appoint it committees, one of the main departments, the administration of the taxes, fell to his lot. But tolls. Railways, and other administrative business claimed his time as well; and he presided at hundreds of committees that called into play all the capacities he possessed: he had to summon every ounce of his flexibility, his foresight, his power to charm, in order not to wound the sensibilities of his elders, to defer constantly to them, and yet to keep the reins in his own hands. If his so-called vanity notably increased at the same time, if he felt a greater and greater need to refresh himself bodily, to renew himself, to change his clothing several times a day, all this meant simply that Thomas Buddenbrook, though he was barely thirty-seven years old, was losing his elasticity, was wearing himself out fast.

Thomas MannBuddenbrooks

Published in: 37 Years Old | on July 31st, 2010 | No Comments »

Thirty-Seven Year Old – Eve Bolsover

 

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‘How’s Septimus Tuam?’ said James. ‘How’s he getting on these days?’

They were standing in the centre of the drawing room when James said that. The furniture, Eve thought, was uglier than she’d remembered it. She walked away from James. She spoke with her back to him, looking through the window at an ash tree.

‘He came one morning, the day after that dinner party, and he helped me in his peculiar way with the housework. He had damaged my stocking with the tip of his umbrella in the button department of Ely’s: he came to give me other stockings instead.’ Eve related these details because she had not spoken of them before. She told James all there was to tell, how Septimus Tuam had captivated her, causing her to imagine scenes in a country of the Middle East, and Arabs who danced in celebration.

‘I find it hard to visualize the chap,’ said James agreeably. ‘Well, well.’

‘I behaved like a schoolgirl of fourteen.’

‘I would have thought not. Do schoolgirls of fourteen take on lovers?’

‘I meant I was silly.’

‘You are thirty-seven. It’s an age of discretion, Eve.’

 William Trevor, The Love Department

Published in: 37 Years Old | on July 31st, 2010 | No Comments »