books, quotes

the poets had drunk too much

“The guest list had chiefly comprised their most prestigious writers in the main categories, a ploy which had added to the general atmosphere of inadvertence and fractionized unease: the poets had drunk too much and had become lachrymose or amorous as their natures dictated; the novelists had herded together in a corner like recalcitrant dogs commanded not to bite; the academics, ignoring their hosts and fellow guests, had argued volubly among themselves…
It had almost been a relief when a formidable female novelist, vigorously corseted in a florid cretonne two-piece which made her look like a walking sofa, had borne him off to pull out a crumple of parking tickets from her voluminous handbag and angrily demand what he was proposing to do about them.”

– P.D. James, Devices and Desires