Bonfire of the Litotes

My sinology is not what it should be, so I found this Q&A with the excellently-named Roderick MacFarquhar very interesting. My close reading and litotes skills got a workout from this statement, though:

He’s not yet a figure that so terrifies his colleagues that they couldn’t dream of suggesting to a comrade, “Let’s ally against him,” because they don’t know that that comrade would not report him.

 

That four-bagger reminded me of one of my all-time favorite bits of writing, Aubrey Buffing’s speech in The Bonfire of the Vanities, which contains this extra base hit:

“But one can scarcely help being aware of the marvelous friendship and hospitality of you and Inez, and thank goodness I don’t have to pretend for a moment to be otherwise.”