The Eve of Saint Venus

 Extracts from The Eve of Saint Venus (1964)

‘…I prefer to think of [young women] less as human beings than as pimply parcels of televisual reflexes.’

‘So she was Greek, was she?’ said Sir Benjamin. ‘Well, well. I suppose the new vice laws are driving some of them out of Soho. Driving them down here,’ he said, as though a whole new world were opening up. ‘Well.’

‘She is a goddess,’ said Ambrose, drunkenly and stoutly. ‘…And she wants me. She’s the pursuer…She’s the epitome of woman, not,’ he said, ‘not a second-hand bundle of coy erogeneity draped,’ he said, ‘in an all-too-diaphanous robe,’ he said, ‘of pudeur.’

‘…today’s…newspapers…full of…diminishing exports, the unkillable widening grin of the pullulating East, the expanding machine of the almighty infallible State….He himself could only turn to the past, but he heard that it was already possible to change the past, bringing the past perpetually up to date, a perpetual jackal fawning on the present, a malleable witness with no qualms about perjury. He knew that the armies were on the march, the Tannoys blaring, the collective mind – tool of oligarchy – being fashioned under the anaesthetic of the catchphrase and the mass entertainment…’

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