The Chinese pianist Liu Chi Kung was imprisoned for seven years during the Cultural Revolution, during which time he had no access to a piano. When he returned to giving concerts again after he was released, his playing was better than ever. Asked how this was possible since he had not practice for seven years, he replied: I did practice, every day. I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind.
To say I accept in an age like our own is to say that you accept concentration-camps, rubber truncheons, Hitler, Stalin, bombs, aeroplanes, tinned food, machine guns, putsches, purges, slogans, Bedaux belts, gas-masks, submarines, spies, provocateurs, press-censorship, secret prisons, aspirins, Hollywood films and political murder.
The child thinks of growing old as an almost obscene calamity, which for some mysterious reason will never happen to itself. All who have passed the age of thirty are joyless grotesques, endlessly fussing about things of no importance and staying alive without, so far as the child can see, having anything to live for. Only child life is real life.