Though George sensed, at last, he had got through, he couldn’t help feeling inside a little embarrassed, once again, for going off into one of his philosophical reflections, which so often made him sound either half barmy, or, worse still, managed to bore people so much they simply switched subjects as soon as they could.
He had tried to put his ideas over positively, by talking about Maxwell, who had been a popular member of the department before he retired in 2015. But then, in a flash, the thought came back to him of when he had first been struck by the idea that our own self-image is shaped, at least in part, by what we see in others.
Nicholas Haversham, his retired British colleague, had come to mind. While George tried always to see the good in everyone and had to recognise to himself that Haversham was a ‘very good talker’, he realised one day how big the discrepancy was between what he saw in front of him, in his own soul mirror, as it were, and what George’s colleagues saw in Haversham.
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