In the middle of a more formal evening, Rudolf’s housekeeper came into the dining room to report that two youths were waiting for him at the front door. “Nice looking. They say they have an appointment with Mister Rudolf.” Jumping up to investigate, Rudolf was heard a few minutes later going upstairs with the new arrivals, leaving the guests around the table to continue their meal. They included Margot and the wheelchair-bound Tito, the Goslings, Joan Thring, and Sandor Gorlinksy with his wife Edith–“la croqueuese de diamants” as Rudolf called her. (“Every time I’ve been on tour, she acquires another diamond.”) Suddenly Joan, unable to contain herself any longer, bursts out laughing. “That’s just the way he is,” she said, slapping one hand on the other flipping them both over. “He tosses them like pancakes!” The group smiled politely. When the front door had slammed shut, Rudolf returned to the table still aglow from his pleasurable amuse-bouche. “And was it nice?” Margot asked sweetly.

Julie Kavanagh, Nureyev: The Life (403).

I have known several writers, famous for representing their neighbourhoods in Montreal and Toronto, who came out, had a look at the mountains and bicycles, and announced they could not comprehend the possibility of human life in such a place.

George Bowering, on British Columbia, Left Hook: A Sideways Look at Canadian Writing (59).