Sunday, 14 March 2010

The two Scandinavians

The two Scandinavians did not "get on" with each other. Both Berthe and Suzette warned me of this, in diplomatic terms, soon after I came to La Grenadière. According to the girls, [the Norwegian] Monsieur Örn complained that [the Swede] Monsieur Lundquist was " too proud;" while Monsieur Lundquist had actually stated openly that he considered Monsieur Örn to be lacking in chic. Monsieur Örn, like Monsieur Dubuisson, rarely spoke, spending most of his time writing lists of French words in a note-book. Berthe said that Monsieur Örn had confided to her that all Swedes were proud often for no reason at all; Monsieur Lundquist especially so, for no better cause than that his father happened to be an official at the Law Courts. Monsieur Lundquist himself was going to become a journalist, and Monsieur Örn had told Berthe that Monsieur Lundquist was much inclined to exaggerate the social position that this calling would bring him. Although Monsieur Örn did not talk a great deal, he would sometimes look sternly across the table at Monsieur Lundquist, the whole of his craggy face slowly setting into a gloomy, hostile state: " comme un Viking," Berthe used to call this specially organised physiognomy.

Anthony Powell, A Dance to the Music of Time, vol. 1, A Question of Upbringing (1951), Chapter III

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