Deborah Meyler: What Are You Reading?
My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. I stole it from F.J.Foakes-Jackson, a Cambridge scholar and clergyman: “It’s no use trying to be clever—we are all clever here; just try to be kind—a little kind.”
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Tom Stoppard. When he dies, unless I die first, he might be the dead person I most admire. Though really I think Shakespeare is immoveable there, and I am pretty impressed with St Lawrence as well.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My greatest achievement is a sort of flash of ineluctable joy once, when I was reading Othello. I saw how great it was. Other people have this about God; I'd like it to happen to me over God. Though perhaps if something is ineluctable, it can't be an achievement.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. There are many kinds of happiness. I think they all involve the understanding that they are temporary.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. "Oh, I am so sorry, I forgot." "I'll just have a cup of tea before I start."