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Raleigh in Corfu

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Reading Sons and Lovers in Acharavi, Corfu – struck by the descriptions of Nottinghamshire miners’ lives – tough, poorly paid and central to the industrial power of GB. With all that flowed from that. Visit the Folk Museum – full of pre-industrial tools and machinery, mostly to do with the production of food/drink. Then this glorious Raleigh bike. Raleigh founded in Nottingham in 1888, three years after Lawrence’s birth…

PO Enquist wandering technique

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Per Olov Enquist, interviewed by Andrew Brown
Guardian Review (30.07.16), p.11

He describes his wandering technique of writing as being like entering a forest. “For the first month you don’t know where the paths go, but after three months you realise that you can’t get lost. That’s the feeling: that the forest has many alternatives, but you can’t take the wrong path.”

I read this as a slightly more lyrical version of my own – ‘I can’t fuck it up’ – an acceptance of, a confidence in, process.

Nabokov’s care for things

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

What there is, eloquently if scarcely, is a series of adumbrations of Nabokov’s care for neglected things, people and places. Like a half-built house that creates the impression of a ruin, abandoned by the life that has not yet arrived; or ‘a marvellous sunset, addressed to God knows who and by and large utterly lost’; or ‘the material melancholy’ of the custom house in Dunkirk; or ‘the gaiety of the shadows’ in South Carolina. He even has a theory about such care, developed in relation to his poem ‘The Room’, which started out as a story. The story is about, among other things, ‘how we unfairly insult things with our inattentiveness, about how touching are the moulded ceiling ornaments, which we never look at, which we never notice’.

Michael Wood, ‘Dear Poochums’, review of Letters to Véra by Vladimir Nabokov, edited and translated by Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd.

London Review of Books Vol. 36 No. 20 (23 October 2014), p. 8