Sunday 16 November 2008

The Art of Conversation

Ah yes, the art of conversation - there's a new book about it, reviewed here. It sounds quite good. Are we conversing less, or just differently? We on the blogosphere could be said to be having one mighty conversation,could we not, on a scale undreamt of in pre-internet times - even if it isn't face to face, even if we talk through personas and noms be blogue. The question 'Is the art of conversation dying?' more or less answers itself; if you believe there is/was such a thing, chances are you'll think it isn't what it was. When Wilde and Shaw and Whistler were sparkling away in the salons of London, there were probably many grumbling that their kind of talk had killed the art of conversation. As a man of few (spoken) words, I'm with Randall Jarrell here: 'People say conversation is a lost art: how often I have wished it were.'
The picture above is there simply because I like it. It's by Andy Pankhurst, a ridiculously young and talented painter, who has an exhibition coming up at Browse & Darby. I hope I get to see it...


  1. The art of conversation may be dying but I think the conversation of art is long since dead. If only more people championed this kind and quality of painting.

  2. If more people looked at paintings, read books, went to plays and concerts, and so forth, the art of conversation would not be dying. It's not that people can't talk, it's that most of them have nothing to talk ABOUT.

    Dick M., I'm glad to see you back. Your dad no doubt loved your blog & your witty comments, and so do we...your readers.

  3. The problem is more that people never bloody shut up.

    Never heard of Andy Pankhurst before, but he looks good from those images.

  4. Nice picture, good luck to him.
    There is probably as much talking today as there ever was, the problem is there is far less communication, why do so many people hold a conversation from behind a defensive shield, are they afraid of giving away the fact that they are just like us, this is far more prevalent in the suburbs that out here in the wilderness, where people often want to know every last detail, nothing wrong with that, helps make friends quicker. So, more conversation, as long as it's meaningfull, and two way.

    Care for a wager Susan, if Bush doesn't step in shortly, GM will be in chapter eleven before Xmas.

  5. You are probably right, Malty. Things are going to hell in a handbasket over here.

    The banks are just dumb beyond belief. We just had our home eq. line of credit FROZEN even though we have great credit, pay everything early, and pay well over the minimum. But I know why they did it: The line had a variable interest rate that has now dropped to 3.75% and they don't want us borrowing on it -- no dough for them. Their excuse, however, is that I am currently unemployed; the letter freezing it began, "Due to your recent financial reversal...." Now, if I really NEEDED that money, what would I do? Yet tons of people who don't have working spouses as I do, must be in this boat.

    Have I mentioned before how much I hate banks? And I don't know why we are saving them, the leeches; or saving all these mismanaged finance co's with overpaid CEOs; and soon, no doubt, we'll be saving GM and other American car manufacturers who make cruddy products and charge too much for them.

    American greed is getting its comeuppance; it's too bad so many of us innocent bystanders are getting splattered with them.

  6. susan, the bubonic plague is alive and well and goes under the name of the financial sector, there is a commercial manager still stealing money under the LLoyds TSB cloak who, for some reason, is still breathing, despite the contract I have out on him.

    GM are currently forcing their manual workers, presently earning $29 an hour, to accept new contacts, at $13 an hour, citing relocation to Mexico as an incentive. The actions of desperate cavemen.

  7. Susan, many thanks. It's very good of you to say that.