patina and perspective

“Let me begin with the hard saying that the best English diaries have been written by bores…. A bore has been excellently defined as ‘a person who mentions everything’…. and face to face with us, across the fireplace or the dining table, the exponent of this art is very nearly intolerable; but at the remove which lies between a writer and a reader, when the ‘everything’, printed not spoken, is in our power, to be taken or left as we feel inclined, and when distance, time, have given it patina and perspective, he who in life might have been our plague becomes our entertainer, and sometimes more than that—a light, a lamp, a gentle, accidental resurrector for a while of what had been cold and dead.”  (From English Diaries and Journals, by Kate O’Brien— COLLINS, 1943)

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