by Thomas Howard
Fifteen or more years ago—I can’t remember just when it was—I came upon Malcolm Muggeridge’s two-volume autobiography, Chronicles of Wasted Time. I knew a little bit about Muggeridge, since I had subscribed to Punch for a year or two while he was its editor. I knew about his droll, dry, wry approach to this oddity that we call human existence, and about his penchant for deflating balloons wherever he came upon them. A wicked and delighted glint seemed to come into his journalistic eyes, as it were (I had not then yet met him) wherever he encountered humbug, swagger, pretentiousness, and puffery in general. I can remember laughing uncontrollably over almost every page in his auto . . .
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