A lovely piece by Niall Anderson, which somebody with a chequebook and the remnants of a media business should republish and pay him for. This on Dirk Bogarde’s novels, for instance:
Read enough of them, though, and you begin to notice a certain recurring theme: that rich people can have it hard, too. You also begin to notice a recurring character. He is male and eternally middle-aged. He is English, sexually ambiguous, and in self-chosen exile. He may or may not write an annual bestseller. (He might also, at this stage, start to remind you of someone.) Shortly before the novel begins, something will have happened to him that has allowed him to figure out the complete meaning of life. He never overplays this, or expects other people to understand such dearly-bought and dreadful knowledge; nevertheless, everybody who comes to him ? that is to say, everybody else in the entire novel ? leaves with a sad sense of having met a man who just knows.