Who wrote this?
“We notice things that don’t work. We don’t notice things that do. We notice computers, we don’t notice pennies. We notice e-book readers, we don’t notice books.”
It could almost be George Orwell. It’s just about tight and sharp enough and it’s got something of the Orwell sense of balance and lissomness… but Orwell didn’t live to encounter computers, let alone e-book readers, and I can’t quite see him scribbling down ‘pennies’.
It was Douglas Adams.
“In the old Soviet Union they used to say that anything that wasn’t forbidden was compulsory; the trick was to remember which was which.”
Now that could have been Clive James. It’s politically astute, aphoristic and it all turns on the final clause: a neat colloquial noun and the fine consonant resonance of the final three words. It contains at least two little turns that James learned from Orwell (and improved upon) – and I think James would be the first to admit it.
But it was Douglas Adams. Continue reading