10 August, 2007


We are as tense as a plum about to be crushed in the fingers. Mrs. Roth sprawls out over the whole bed before I join her at night. One might call it greedy. I call it Anschluss. My eyes are always the first part of my anatomy to tire, and by the time I reach the pillow I am exhausted with writing and reading. There is no problem of insomnia. When I close my eyes in the dark the plum is set down, and I am bathed in waves of images. I dream of London, but it is a London made strange—roads disclosing new spaces, old spaces new roads—a city made feverish with the realisation that what had once been there is now no longer. Perhaps I am being chased, or perhaps—

When I awake the sun, through the skylight, is breaking little sweats from me, and great crows are scuttling over the glass, casting intermittent shadow. This is around seven o'clock, unless we have closed the shutters in advance. And so we come forth by day.

We do not make the bed. Beds should not be made; beds look more beautiful when they are left unmade. When I return again at night I want to see something amorphous and inviting, a soft cave, unmade and thus unruinable. Still, Lily occasionally makes the bed, much to my chagrin.

The plum is picked up once again: I remember that I still have not heard about the funding for my doctorate. The good news is that I have discovered the books bought last summer, thought lost—volume five of Plutarch's Moralia, for instance, and Bede's De temporum ratione, and Otto of Freising's The Two Cities, and the catalogue from the Sotheby's manuscript auction last July, and Remy de Gourmont's Esthetiques de la Langue Française, and J. T. Waldman's comic-book Megillat Esther, to name a few. And I have been meeting all sorts of exciting people, who have collectively been making the loneliness intrinsic to London (Stefan Zweig: 'I was always forced to seek out with difficulty that which had overwhelmed me in Paris: sociability, comradeship, and joyousness') easier to withstand, at least a little.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Southerners, on the other hand, complain of the cold loneliness of -- not just London -- but all Germanic countries.

Nice photos. Rgds to Fuhreress.