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Most of the world's ills, it seemed to him, were caused by men who believed themselves important doing things they believed to be important: on a good day it always ended in tears, on a bad day in total destruction. Oliver was not a man to start a war or provoke pestilence: his icons were the makers of music, the tellers of tales, the clowns and the balladeers, and all who celebrated life's footnotes, appendices and afterthoughts.

Oliver's Travels, by Alan Plater