Monday, 7 June 2010

old warriors

I don't want to be in a war as much as the next man, but if you don't think that obituaries are getting less ... (hmm; less good is one way of putting it, but that's not quite it. It is something to do with grandeur and scope also) ... as the last generation of World War II vets die, then you have no blood, or it's an odd kind of blood you have.*

On April 27th, Vivian Cox: born Bangalore, Footlights and blues hockey at Jesus College, Cambridge, England hockey also, close aide to top brasses during the war, chatting with Churchill and Roosevelt, one of the first four into Tokyo after surrender riding shotgun with McArthur, taught for a few years then became a Producer at Pinewood Studios and of the Royal Command Performances, then made food programmes for telly, in front and behind the camera, did a bit more teaching and then a final pre-retirement period running the Mermaid Theatre and winning an Olivier for translating Henri de Montherlant's The Fire That Consumes. Apparently, he was great fun, knew everyone and name-dropped relentlessly.

* A thought: generations in the modern era have relentlessly complained that their are no mountains to climb. Cox would have looked at the explorer polymaths of his youth and said that the world was so small now... I will think more about this. I might favour you with these thoughts. There was certainly a good thing I read back in the heady late nineties and written in about 1906 which said that the world was now so complex that anyone had to specialise if he (it was 'he') wanted to achieve anything, which meant the end of the grand generalists.

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