Monday, April 16, 2007

A Take on Small Talk

From Renoir, My Father by Jean Renoir:
Like people everywhere, the natives were fond of using clichés. On meeting anyone in the street they would say, "Oh, so you're awake," or, "So, you're up?" even though it might be the middle of the afternoon. Obviously, each knew that the other was awake or out of bed; but by exchanging these little familiar greetings, they felt less lonely in this vast world. Renoir said "Good-day," and nothing more. And the inhabitants would remark knowingly, "He has nothing to say," by which they implied that his thoughts were too profound to be put into words.

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