Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray

His contemporaries’ reputations have diminished. But Eliot’s has grown: he is the poet who shows us what can be saved from the ruins

In my twenties and early thirties, I arrived at the book-buying equivalent of a 60-a day habit and slowed down, not just for reasons of financial health but through a realisation that I was acquiring far faster than I was reading.

‘It turns out I have a local authority lending library in part to thank for setting me off as a writer’

‘The best translations can be miracles in and of themselves’

“This was the great discovery: that books could let you in to places of danger. Perhaps inevitably this included places you regretted having gone”

‘Something in the world of literature we start off reading shows us a world which while sometimes scary is nevertheless still safe’

‘Ordinarily, the public should flay this political class at the next available chance. But our options seem deeply limited’

‘Walk along any but the main streets of Vienna at any time and you cannot shift the feeling that there just aren’t enough people’

‘The lion wakes me at 3 a.m. as it walks past my tent. It must be some while since an ancestor of mine has had to fear encountering the animal’

‘So far as I know there was only one public statue erected in Europe after the war to commemorate a Nazi. And on a recent visit to Dublin I finally managed to visit it’