To make a love story, you need a couple of young people, but to reflect on the nature of love, you're better off with old ones. That is a fact of life and literature - and of the novel ever since it fell in love with love in the 18th century.
Other quotes by James Buchan
When Gordon the Brown, in London in 1997, commissioned a great inquisition or survey of his new realm, the result was the so-called national asset register, which was immediately dubbed by the boomers of the UK Treasury 'the modern Domesday Book.'
Unlike despotisms, modern democracies are not supposed promiscuously to accumulate property and then charge their taxpayers to maintain it. But that is what they do. Governments are always trying to extend their responsibilities and their estates, and it is very hard for parliaments to reign them in.
Europe and North America, we are told, are less dependent on energy-intensive heavy industry than in the 1960s and 1970s. It seems we squeeze more GDP out of a barrel of oil than in those benighted days.
What holds an Arab leader in power is a mixture of violence and prestige. Both President Assad and King Hussein were felt to have defended Arab interests against the world. That, in the end, is more important than what they wear on their head.