About right.

Is this verbal violence, then, simply incompetence? Is it the verbal equivalent of someone who has not learned the piano sitting down and trying to play Rachmaninov’s Third? The rudeness of these public figures gives pleasure and relief, it is clear, to their audiences. Perhaps what they experience is not the possibility of actual violence but a sort of intellectual unbuttoning, a freedom from the constraint of language. Perhaps they have lived lives in which they have been continually outplayed in the field of articulation, but of this new skill – rudeness – they find that they are the masters.

~ Rachel Cusk, from “On Rudeness” in Coventry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux. September 16, 2019)



  1. What an interesting perspective. Sadly, it rings true….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. she is so spot on

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In. Deed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Valerie Meluskey says:

    …have to add, I find that being among many types of people, there are many other ways in which people are rude, or enjoy being rude, or are not remotely aware that they’re being rude, or think that “the truth” when spoken (if it disagrees with the listener’s “truth”) is rude. Interesting topic…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Saddly this is so true

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very intriguing – must try and read her books

    Liked by 1 person

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