Joseph Conrad: “I hate babies.”

Two ideas of babies having cross my path recently: (I) in 7 Samurai something I had previously missed or else somehow forgotten, the Toshiro Mifune character weeping to hold a recently orphaned baby and saying “This is me!” before having an emotional breakdown; which is, first, a display of very efficient story telling (as we have long been made curious to know just what this character’s origins are, and in the space of one utterance we now know all), and which is, second, the way I shall endeavor to react to all babies I encounter henceforth; and (II) Joseph Conrad (I believe this occurs in the context of a very humorous anecdote concerning his newborn son) reportedly saying with seriousness “I hate babies” — this in Jocyelyn Baines biography of him. (Actual context. He did write those words but as a sort of table talk, in a personal letter, and not, for example, arguing a philosophy.)

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