Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some Good Questions

And then this question of intelligence, -- are we too much, too readily impressed by mere articulateness?  I mean, is Raymond really a more intelligent person than the subaltern here who has commanded Indians all his life? How would Raymond come out of it, if he were suddenly put into a position of responsibility and authority?  How would his appreciation of the finer shades serve him then?  And which is the more important?  Or is it merely a question of difference, not of degree?

Besides, so far as feeling goes, I suspect there is as much feeling in the terse remarks of the subaltern, -- "Jolly day, -- jolly the mountains look, -- topping view," --as in any amount of verbiage.
-- Vita Sackville-West, writing to Virginia Woolf from Tehran, 23rd February 1927

[The Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, edited by Louise DeSalvo and Mitchell A. Leaska (Morrow, 1985), p. 178]