Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cock and Bull by Will Self


Carol had a good head for alcohol - in fact, she had a spy's head for alcohol; for as she drank, her washed blue eyes grew flatter and beadier, giving an accurate, if tarnished reflection of some pebbledashed saturnalia. That's what one felt, watching her: that as she drank, she was somehow accumulating evidence against those who got drunk.

A little devil sat on Alan's left shoulder, a little angel on his right. On the right-hand shoulder of the little devil sat a littler angel; and on the left-hand shoulder a littler devil. It was the same for the first angel, and so on, and so on. This was the reductio ad infinitum of Alan's moral sense: a great Renaissance canvas depicting diminishing tiers of cherubim and seraphim, imps, satyrs and familiars. All towering up into an impossible void.

In this world where all are mad and none are bad, we all know that the finger points backwards.

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