November 16, 2008

Page 27

"And what is the most potent myth of all?" she went on, in the slightly ringing tones that caused him to make a discreet sign to the waiter for the bill.  "The tortoise and the hare," she pronounced.  "People love this one, especially women.  Now you will notice, Harold, that in my books it is the mouse-like unassuming girl who gets the hero, while the scornful temptress with whom he has had a stormy affair retreats baffled from the fray, never to return.  The tortoise wins every time.  This is a lie of course ... In real life, of course, it is the hare who wins.  Every time.  Look around you.  And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market... Hares have no time to read.  They are too busy winning the game.  The propaganda goes all the other way, but only because it is the tortoise who is in need of consolation.  Like the meek who are going to inherit the earth."

- Hotel Du Lac, Anita Brookner

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