parrot ::: acceptable failure, idea of travel, secret of happiness

drei Persönlichkeitsschläge

i »his air of failure had nothing desperate about it; rather it seemed to stem from an unresented realisation that he was not cut out for success, and his duty was therefore to ensure only that he failed in a correct and acceptable fashion.« ii »he didn’t really like travel, of course. He liked the idea of travel, and the memory of travel, but not travel itself. For once I agree with Du Camp, who used to say that Gustave’s preferred form of travel was to lie on a divan and have the scenery carried passed him.« iii »the secret of happiness, he told, is to be happy already.«

(Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot)

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