Books: Excerpt

"With all he had striven for smashed in a single afternoon, he had an overwhelming sense of the fragility and contingency of life. He had never taken plans very seriously in the past. He could not believe in them at all now. 'Who knows if we will be here next week?' If things were worth doing, they were not to be deferred to the precarious future: so he would protect his family, his friendships, his reading from the exactions of public affairs. At the same time he knew he was a child of fortune as well as of...

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