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Sir Alec Guinness

Tribute

Welcome to my Alec Guinness tribute page. Why Alec Guinness you ask? Well, I stumbled on his writings some time back and found them quite interesting, and not just from a literary standpoint. Unfortunately I am too young to remember him from the movies - other than Ben Kenobi from Star Wars - and I have never lived in England to see him in a play. Nevertheless, it is his writing that has moved me most. I have read all of the books he has written, including his latest, A Commonplace Book, published posthumously. I get a sense of the man, the real Alec Guinness; his sense of propriety and self-effacement are to be commended. His concern, for decorum and for others, is admirable.

 

Wednesday 6 March

What I liked most about Brighton as a boy was the little electric railway which ran from near the Palace Bier to Black Rock and had a section of its line, all too short for my money, running out over the sea. When the sea was a bit rough this was a thrill; when it was really rough the cissy little train didn't function. I must have spent many happy, if lonely, hours to'ing and fro'ing. Not absolutely lonely. I have always found the sea, in whatever mood it was in, good and sufficient company.

-My Name Escapes Me by Alec Guinness. 212pp. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

 

Friday 17 May A card this morning from a friend who lives in Scotland and always has a good tale to pass on. He once told me of the Catholic Bishop of Argyll and the Western Isles who said, "We once had a conservative candidate for the Isle of Barra. He told the islanders that if returned as their representative he would bring work to the islands. Naturally he lost his deposit." -My Name Escapes Me

 

Monday 6 November There seems to be no end to the senseless wickedness done on this planet in a minor solar system, and we puny mortals appear to be decreasing in importance so far as the universe is concerned. Faith, Hope and Charity are easy to pray for but I fear that in my case they are receding at the speed of light. For the moment anyway. -My Name Escapes Me
Bon Appetit The waiter's gestures were so extravagant and his accent so aggressively French, of the 'Allo! 'Allo! variety, that I surmised he was probably born and bred in Southend. He managed to kick the leg of my chair a dozen times; and his chum the 'sommelier' rested his exhausted arm on my shoulder while I ran an alarmed eye down 'La Carte des Vins' (it was very much that kind of evening) counting the cost. It was certainly not going to be an occasion.... -A Positively Final Appearance by Alec Guiness. 246pp. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

 

Celebrity I fixed her with a cold eye. "You are mistaken, madam. Mr. Olivier died last week." -A Commonplace Book. 163pp. London: Penguin Books Ltd.
Snippet A spider's web, stretched between the uprights of the bird table, sagging with the weight of the morning dew; the lawn looking like shattered glass glittering in the sun. -A Commonplace Book

 

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Daily Telegraph"A judge in De Funiak Springs, Florida, ordered that an inscription of the Ten Commandments on a courthouse wall must be covered during a murder trial, after the defence lawyer argued that the words, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' might deprive jurors of their freedom of conscience."

 

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