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Simon Raven

Art for art's sake, money for God's sake.

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How can I go on with this? Please God, let me win a football pool.

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I loved the Army as an institution and loathed every single thing it required me to do.

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Nobody minded what you did in bed or what you said about God, a very civilized attitude in 1948.

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Gentlemen can now only behave as such, or be tolerated as such, in circumstances that are manifestly contrived or unreal.

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Scholarship was one thing, drudgery another. I very soon concluded that nothing would induce me to read, let alone make notes on, hundreds and hundreds of very, very, very boring books.

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I wanted to look at the upper-middle-class scene since the war, and in particular my generation's part in it. We had spent our early years as privileged members of a privileged class. How were we faring in the Age of the Common Man? How ought we to be faring?

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And so, at the age of thirty, I had successively disgraced myself with three fine institutions, each of which had made me free of its full and rich resources, had trained me with skill and patience, and had shown me nothing but forbearance and charity when I failed in trust.

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