The British Museum is Falling Down

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The title is not related to sabotaging by the Greek to take the Elgin sculptures back home or lack of public funding. It is the title of a novel by David Lodge.

Penguin publishes a collection called Decades with a selection of books from the 50’s to the 80’s that helped shape modern Britain. The novel was published in 1965. Adam Appleby braves through the anxieties and contradictions of Catholics in their compliance to the ultra-orthodox ruling of sex and reproduction by the Church.

Our hero is tormented by the prospect of having his wife pregnant of who would be their fourth kid at a time when he sees no end to his thesis. The drama unfolds in an ever unsatisfying and very miserable British style. This sentence summarizes the whole approach to life of a whole nation:

At last he was in the open air. He filled his lungs, and coughed.

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