Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


I dreamed I was moving house- and the removal men were at the door and I'd forgotten to pack my books- so there I was- with my female assistant- tumbling them off the shelves into bags, sacks, pillowcases- whatever was available.

I'm reading Citizens-  Simon Schama's history of the French Revolution. It's awfully good. If a fictional narrative starts to cough and splutter all the writer has to do- according to Raymond Chandler- is have a man come through the door with a gun- but an historian doesn't have that resource. He can't invent a thing. It amazes me how such a very big book, with a cast of thousands, which has to be constructed entirely out of facts- many of them to do with economics and dull stuff like that- can still be so gripping.

I'm waiting- impatiently- for the delivery of a copy of Walter de la Mare's Winged Chariot- a long, meditative poem about the nature of time.  I used to own one- a first edition no less-  but I sold it when money was tight and have regretted it ever since. De La Mare's stock has fallen- and this copy- in good nick according to the seller- cost me a mere £2.80 on Amazon. It's a late work- written when de la Mare was around 80.   I like de la Mare's later poetry: it's twistier, more metaphysical than the earlier, chiming, fairyland lyrics he's best remembered for- but no less beautiful.

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