The Evaporation of Exteriors

In New English Review Dalrymple writes of the mistreatment of immigrant waiters:

I could imagine what it was like to be a waiter, but I could not imagine what it was like to be one of the fat, shaven-headed, tattooed monsters who behaved towards them in so vile a fashion….

…my sympathy and imagination, like everyone else’s, is limited. I can sympathise with waiters, servers in shops, washers-up, peasants, office cleaners, street-sweepers, dustmen, mortuary assistants, delivery men, taxi drivers, illegal immigrants, and a thousand others, but not with them. There I draw a line; and if, underlying all, they are miserable rather than evil, I can only say they are not nearly miserable enough or as miserable as they deserve.

One thought on “The Evaporation of Exteriors

  1. Chuck Hortler

    I think your abbreviated quotation makes it appear that Dalrymple’s ire is pointed at the immigrants… i had to read the full column to get the precious poing: he’s talking about the tatooed, high-and-not-dry (Mr.) Creosotan Cetaceans which litter the pubs taking up 2 to 3 chairs apiece.


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