Wednesday, July 29, 2009

easily bored

Before the Revolution, Danton was doing well; he was not one of the people with nothing to lose. He had a wife, a comfortable home, and an established legal practice; many of the men who were his future comrades had nothing but sheaves of unpublished poems, unsung operas and unapplauded plays. But he was restless and perhaps, as Büchner suggested in his play Dantons Tod, he was easily bored. Revolution offered him five years of diversion and aggrandisement, and amplified his voice to the whole of Europe; in quieter times, 30 years of plodding application, bowing and scraping to his intellectual inferiors, would perhaps have taken him into the lower ranks of the establishment.

Hilary Mantel in the LRB on David Lawdry's Danton: The Gentle Giant of Terror

1 comment:

Jenny Davidson said...

I was brought up to believe that there were few things in life more reprehensible to be easily bored (protestant duty to work or entertain oneself!), but have belatedly realized that it of course is a very strongly marked trait in me, in spite of how hard I have worked to conceal or suppress it...