A good book and a thunderstorm

It’s Oklahoma-styled nirvana.

The book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is lovely. I’m going to take a risk and print a few paragraphs to show you why. (If anyone connected with the book should disagree, I’ll be glad to take it down.)

Page 101 of the paperback version:

Isn’t that something–to know your own soul by hearsay, instead of its own tidings? Why should I let a preacher tell me if I had one or not? If I could believe I had a soul, all by myself, then I could listen to its tidings all by myself.

I gave my talk on Mr. Carlyle to the Society, and it stirred up a great argument about the soul. Yes? No? Maybe? Dr. Stubbins yelled the loudest, and soon everyone stopped arguing and listened to him.

Thompson Stubbins is a man of long, deep thoughts. He was a psychiatrist in London until he ran amok at the annual dinner of the Friends of Sigmund Freud Society in 1934. He told me the whole tale once. The Friends were great talkers and their speeches went on for hours–while the plates stayed bare. Finally they served up, and silence fell upon the hall as the psychiatrists bolted their chops. Thompson saw his chance: he beat his spoon upon his glass and shouted from the floor to be heard.

“Did any of you ever think that along about the time the notion of a SOUL gave out, Freud popped up with the EGO to take its place? The timing of this man! Did he not pause to reflect? Irresponsible old coot! It is my belief that men must spout this twaddle about egos, because they fear to have no soul! Think upon it!”

I’m falling for these characters defined by their correspondence. Remember 84, Charing Cross Road? This book adds even more depth in a similar style. Plus, I’m rather fond of the author’s portrayal of Sigmund Freud!


  1. I love this dialogue too! Just wondering if Dr.Stubbins really existed. Do you know? If so, I would loved to have met him!