2013년 4월 28일 일요일

[some snapshots of Keynes's description of] David Lloyd George

자료 1. Tethering the broomstick (Jose Harris, London Review of Books, 1985)


‘Who shall paint the chameleon, who can tether a broomstick?’ wrote J.M. Keynes of David Lloyd George in 1919. ‘How can I convey to the reader ... any just impression of this extraordinary figure of our time, this syren, this goat-footed bard, this half-human visitor to our age from the hag-ridden magic and enchanted woods of Celtic antiquity?’ 

This passage was left out of the original text of The Economic Consequences of the Peace, because Keynes felt that he had tried and failed to do justice to the British prime minister’s baffling complexity of character. Lloyd George has continued to dazzle and elude his numerous biographers ever since. Few statesmen have had their public and private lives so frankly exposed and picked over by friend and foe alike: yet few have so tantalisingly evaded the grasp of the historian. Was Lloyd George, as Keynes suggested, a chimera from the Celtic twilight: or was he on the contrary a pioneer of modernity, managerialism and administrative rationalisation? Was he a ruthless practitioner of power politics or a diplomatic femme fatale – endowed with an almost feminine lubricity and guile? Was he an adherent of high principle, or merely a virtuoso of grand rhetoric? Was he a genuine democrat and parliamentarian, or was he mainly concerned with concentrating the power and streamlining the efficiency of the modern centralised state? ( ... ... )


자료 2. Maynard Keynes: An Economist's Biography (Donald E. Moggridge, Psychology Press, 1992)

( ... ... ) In the fragment he published in 1933, Lloyd George received the status of a femme fatale.
How can I convey to the reader, who does not know him, any just impression of this extraordinary figure of our time, this syren, this goat-footed bard, this half-human visitor to our age from the hag-ridden magic and enchanted woods of Celtic antiquity. One catches in his company that flavour of final purposelessness, inner irresponsibility, existence outside or away from our Saxon good and evil, mixed with cunning, remorselessness, love of power. ...
Lloyd George is rooted in nothing; he is void and without content; he lives and feeds on his immediate surroundings; he is an instrument and a player at the same time which plays on the company and is played on by them too; he is a prism, as I have heard him described, which collects light and distorts it and is most brilliant if the light comes from many quarters; a vampire and a medium in one.[21]
The 'old man' was too experienced and too cynical to fall for the femme fatale, but non-conformist minister was hooked. 'No wonder', Keynes concluded, 'that in the eventual settlement the real victor was Clemenceau'.
These were the personalities of ParisㅡI forbear to mention other nations or lesser men: Clemenceau, aesthetically the noblest; the President, morally the most admirable; Lloyd George intellectually the subtlest. Out of their disparities and weaknesses the Treaty was born, child of the least worthy attributes of his parents, without nobility, without morality, without intellect.[22]

( ... ... )

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