Saturday, 19 February 2011
Eager Restless Heroism
News from Nowhere contains what must surely be one of the most inspiring sentences in all English literature to that date, when Old Hammond remarks that between 1952 and 1954 ‘the sloth, the hopelessness, and, if I may say so, the cowardice of the last century, had given place to the eager, restless heroism of a declared revolutionary period’ (ch. XVII). This stirring formulation surely gives us a fine epigraph for the current political struggles and sacrifices taking place in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and the Middle East generally. Not a socialist revolution in the making, admittedly, but a democratic one at least; and certainly involving an eager, restless heroism that can and should inspire us all.