Today in the Frye Diaries, 5 September


1942: The shape of things to come…

[97] Listened to Information Please programme last night.  I wonder what the popular appeal of that programme is based on: I think partly on the enormous prestige enjoyed by a man who is well-informed on non-controversial subjects. The amount of actual erudition [John] Kieran gets a chance to display is not impressive, as such things go, but shuch things go a long way, like the polysyllables of Goldsmith‘s schoolmaster [The Deserted Village, l. 213: Ed. “While words of learned length and thundering sound”]. By means of it I succeeded in scaring the shit out of [Bobby] Morrison and Beattie, who make three times the money I do. One doesn’t realilze the immense social prestige of the university until one gets a little outside of it. Speaking of them, I wonder if the dry rot at the basis of their lives is significant of an economic change in which the bustling, successful, money-making, super-selling young man is no longer a pure clear-eyed Alger hero but an embittered souse.

1950: Some inconsequential gossip as the new school year begins.

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