Interest or the Lack of It

“One conclusion I have reached after a year here in my cell is that the only emotion people feel nowadays is interest or the lack of it. Curiosity and interest and boredom have replaced the so-called emotions we used to read about in novels or see registered on actors’ faces. Even the horrors of the age translate into interest. Did you ever watch anybody pick up a newspaper and read the headline PLANE CRASH KILLS THREE HUNDRED? How horrible! says the reader. But look at him when he hands you the paper. Is he horrified? No, he is interested. When was the last time you saw anybody horrified?”

-Lancelot Andrewes Lamar in Walker Percy’s Lancelot (Picador, 1999/1977), pp. 21-22
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