"Men of few words are the best men." - William Shakespeare, King Henry V, Act III, Scene II

Sunday, July 11, 2010


The Quincey Morris Book Club

Extraordinary General Meeting


At the end of a highly successful QMBC V, our illustrious club members parted ways with the understanding that our next official meeting would take place in September. Of course unofficial gatherings, like that of the 11th of July, could happen at any time.

By a political machination not uncommon among QMBC members, one of our number arranged for us to view The FIFA World Cup Final in The Aviva Stadium where the live transmission from South Africa was shown on the stadium’s big screens. (It is fair to assume that had the full influence of the QMBC been employed, the venue for the match could have been changed from Johannesburg to Dublin.)

Present were Whitby Syme, William Clay, Xavier Paddington, Tiger McGavin, Carl Jameson, Atticus McCarthy and Mycroft Webb. Also present were the wives and girlfriends of various club members. Needless to say that when the meeting proper commenced, we stepped aside so as to give no quarter to the compassionate and merciful nature for which the fairer sex is known. When hard decisions are to be made in the QMBC the last and only word must be that of The Law.

The extraordinary meeting was called at half-time by Carl and he had no hesitation in tabling his first motion.

Motion I: “Abort!”

The single-word plea was reinforced by Xavier who, with a copy of THWATF at hand, read a wordy passage, pointed out some exceedingly long footnotes, and drew attention to a diagram of a circle with the letters x, y and z labeling points at the Western, Southern and Eastern points, respectively. He was less than impressed with Campbell’s claim that the annotated shape did anything to elucidate the text.

Though their arguments were passionate, and their earnestness beyond any doubt, the cool heads of the other QMBC members remained unmoved. The motion was dismissed summarily.

Carl and Xavier may like it to be noted, that at the time of the EGM only they and Whitby had read any of the book. The strongest proponents of overruling the motion were those that had not yet read a page of the controversial choice.

Motion II: No Poor Show rating for not finishing the book

It is a fine reflection on the honour of Carl that he fears a Poor Show rating enough to table such a motion. It is a less impressive reflection on his sense of realism that he thought it would pass. Motion overruled.

Thus concluded the first extraordinary general meeting of the QMBC. Though the outcome was not satisfying to all, it cannot be denied that the club is passing through the proverbial “interesting times”.

Your minute taker would like to close proceedings with the following fancy, adapted from the text of The Grapes of Wrath to fit our current circumstances:

“The men from the book club came onto the land, or more often a spokesman for them came. The readers watched uneasily as the closed cars drove across the fields. At last the book club men drove into the dooryards and sat in their cars to talk out of windows. The reader men stood beside the cars for awhile, and then squatted on their hams and found sticks with which to mark the dust. The women folk looked on as the book club men told their husbands what the next book was.

We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The book club isn’t like a man.

Yes, but the book club is only made of men.

No, you’re wrong there - quite wrong there. The book club is something else than men. It happens that every man in a book club hates what the book club does, and yet the book club does it. The book club is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

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