So the London Review of Books comes in the mail and you turn immediately to the page that would be the inside back flap if the LRB were a book rather than a tabloid-shaped effort at an intellectual broadside.
The inside back cover has the classifieds and the LRB has the world's finest personals. The first each week is from an outfit that calls itself Infidelities and boasts that it is not only discreet but "bespoke" -- "A personal professional bespoke individual service," a phrase with as many adjectives as a poem by Robert Lowell, and which provides new eviudence of the astonishing rise of "bespoke" as a word of choice.
But the week's best personal is a little further down in the list:
<< Aspiring priest seeks guardian temptress for daily confession in Gothic music hall. [email protected] >>
It could be a coded message directed to a Guardian reporter with a liking for Gothic architecture from a witty sonneteer, the author of a book on Augustine's Confessions, who played Sky Masterson in a college production of Guys and Dolls. Or maybe not. Try reading Donne's "The Extasie" or "The Sun Rising" with this advert in your brain. -- DL