13th september 2005

faire rire dans la manche

I've never been to Dover Beach. I once stayed in a hotel right on Deal beach though, a few miles up the coast. My room was on the ground floor with a verandah stepping down onto the shingle: ideal, if it hadn't been November. The sound of the waves, I thought, would be soothing to sleep to; as it was the noise kept me awake for ages.
I didn't know that The Fugs had made a version of Arnold's poem: you can hear it here, for a limited time of course; it's rather dated but the opening's nice. And here's Anthony Hecht's poem The Dover Bitch.

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15th september 2005

some Greeks


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21st september 2005

timbre land

Reading Bruce Chatwin's What Am I Doing Here: there's an essay on Donald Evans, the stamp artist (died in a house fire at 33 - the standard age; Jesus, Shelley etc). No pictures. In the old days you'd have to haunt the library or have your bookshop look it up on their microfiche. Now there's internet image search, it's easier.

There are some nice pages on stamp art, of which I was unaware. An essay by Peter Frank with some great images, particularly this Donald Evans of issues from his imaginary state, the Tropides Islandes. And this page with some rather good Evans airships. He did the perforations typing full stops on an old typewriter, apparently.

And there's a book on Evans by Will Eisenhart, who sadly killed himself in the 90s. I'm off to haunt my library('s online catalogue).

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30th september 2005

On the train today there were the usual types, but among them: an Indian woman who sat slumped against the glass, looking out unseeing; only once did she sit up and pay close attention: we were passing a cemetery. And then there was the sharp handsome young thirties fellow who put everyone's sandwiches to shame by eating a platonically perfect fruit salad from a large plastic beaker; he then brought out an A4 ruled hardbound notebook, and wrote. He wrote all in short lines, so it looked like poetry, or instructions for a simple task. When he riffled the pages, it was all like that; I was just too far away to make out words. Then we disembarked, and he was first at the doors, working them for us. Moving things on.

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I write for about six people (including myself) whom I respect and for no one else.

- Henry Green