writing

the arts people fell out of bed at midday for their two tutorials a week

Ian McEwan has a new short story in the New Yorker called “The Use of Poetry.” Here’s his scientist protagonist, after discovering Milton is not beyond him:

He and his lot were at lectures and lab work nine till five every day, attempting to grasp some of the hardest things ever thought. The arts people fell out of bed at midday for their two tutorials a week. He suspected that there was nothing they talked about at those meetings that anyone with half a brain could fail to understand. He had read four of the best essays on Milton. He knew. And yet they passed themselves off as his superiors, these lie-abeds, and he had let them intimidate him. No longer. From the moment he won Maisie, he was intellectually free.

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