zondag 1 januari 2017

Noël Coward -- 31 december 1962

Noël Coward (1899-1973) was een Britse toneel- en musicalschrijver. Uit The Noël Coward Diaries.

Monday 31 December
Tomorrow 1963 begins and today 1962 is expiring in a splutter of gossip. The Duke of Windsor has been attacked in the Press for having hob-nobbed with Hitler in the late thirties. Secret papers have disclosed his pro-Nazi perfidy which, of course, I was perfectly aware of at the time. Poor dear, what a monumental ass he has always been! William Somerset Maugham has adopted Alan Searle as his son and is suing Liza under French law for, apparently, everything he has given her. It really is very silly indeed and he is making a cracking fool of himself. The newspapers are sending him up sky-high, of course. Perhaps it is not a good idea to live quite so long.
The Chevreau d'Antraigues' party was fairly disastrous but mercifully brief. Marlene was in a bad temper at having to go and wasn't very gracious. As a matter of fact, the whole thing was a bore. Marti [Stevens] and Kay [Thompson] arrived from Rome, Graham from London. We have descended the mountain several times on luges and bob-sleighs, not really at breakneck speed because the snow is too soft. We fly to London tomorrow.
Sail Away is not doing well and Harold Fielding is threatening to put the notice up. I don't somehow think he will just yet. It's very disappointing. It has the aura of success about it but actually has never played to smash business. Perhaps I really am getting too old and out of touch. I can't really believe this but I suppose there are several pointers. The score and lyrics of Sleeping Prince so far show no signs of hardening arteries. I intend to have a careful period of introspection in Jamaica. In these cold airs three-quarters of my energy is occupied in fighting the temperature.
Queen Marie-Jose, Princess Marie Gabriella and Prince Peter of Greece came to lunch on Thursday. It was all very amiable and comme il faut. I've been seeing a lot of place-cards lately. I am reading an American novel, Another Country by James Baldwin. It is filled with every imaginable four-letter word and pages of pornography. I look with dismay at the jangling world around me, at the close of this clamorous year. How much longer can all this lack of control, non-discipline, self-indulgence and wild futility last? The books I like to read, the music I like to hear, the paintings I like to see all belong to the past. This is really old age, I suppose. And yet there is a margin for doubt. I never liked formlessness, bad manners, obscurantism and vulgarity even when I was young! Hail 1963!

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