‘If you are prudent it is possible to say that you are overcautious; if you are clever, that you are facetious; if you are given to simple and objective arguments, a good point to make is that you are commonplace or trivial; if you are prone to give abstract reasons, one can say that you are a dry intellectual, and so on. For an able controversialist there are simply no qualities, convictions, or mental states which cannot be referred to by an expression which in itself discloses the appalling emptiness, obtuseness, and pettiness of the opponent.’
- Karel Čapek, Twelve Figures in Fighting with Pens, or a Handbook of Literary Polemic.
Apocryphal Tales is not in the library. So I will have to buy it. You all ought to as well. You should also buy The War Against the Newts. Čapek is sane and cheerful against the terrifying backdrop of a World Gone Mad, which is just what we need nowadays.
Okay, okay, I admit it. I only went to that part of the library because I wanted to write a Lord of the Rings pastiche on The Good Soldier Švejk.
But I have thought better of it.
For the time being.