Sunday, June 7, 2015

duke's head hotel em Lynn, Norfolk

na carta de Larkin a Pymm, e agora na Paris Review. sobre as férias e por isso, imagino, escolhida, para esta data. com um ligeiro desdém literário pelas férias, à antiga, à Larkin. o género espistolar à vista, também, um livro que gostaria de ler. um pouco como a correspondência entre Sophia e Jorge de Sena.

na história literária do género, as cartas portuguesas e tantas obras anglófilas mais recentes. nesta história limitada faltam tantas outras, de mais longos alcances (um dos pequenos imensos equívocos): a ver, a ver, a ver.

Dear Barbara,

I have a theory that “holidays” evolved from the medieval pilgrimage, and are essentially a kin of penance for being so happy and comfortable in one’s daily life. You’re about to point out the essential fallacy in this, viz., that we aren’t h. & c. in our daily lives, but it’s too late now, the evolution has taken place, and we do the world’s will, not our own, as Jack Tanner says in Man & Superman. Anyway, every year I take my mother away for a week, & this is it. God knows why I chose this place—well, there are certain basic requirements—must be fairly near where she lives, must have single rooms with private bathrooms & lift, must for preference be near the sea … even so, one can make grave errors, & I rather think this is one of them. One forgets that nobody stays in hotels these days except businessmen & American tourists: the food is geared to the business lunch or the steak-platter trade: portion-control is rampant, and the materials cheap anyway (or so I guess: three lamb chops I had were three uncuttable unchewable unanswerable arguments for entry into EEC if—as I suspect—they had made the frozen journey from New Zealand). The presence of the hotel in the Good Food Guide is nothing short of farce. Of course it’s a Trust House, which guarantees a kind of depersonalized dullness. Never stay at a Trust House.
It’s been a depressing day. For one thing, my hearing had gone wrong again: it’s a new one, & had gone wrong before—I’m beginning to feel, as it cost £80, a bit of a mug. (I forget if I’ve ever said that one of the few blessings of my advancing age is a merciful blurring of the sounds around me.) Then, one does get depressed sometimes. Has anyone ever done any work on why memories are always unhappy? I don’t mean really unhappy, as of blacking factories, but sudden stabbing memories of especially absurd or painful memories that one is suffused and excoriated by—I have about a dozen, some 30 years old, some a year or even less, & once one arrives, all the rest follows. I suppose if one lives to be old one’s entire waking life will be spent turning on the spit of recollection over the fires of mingled shame, pain or remorse. Cheerful prospect! Why can’t I recall the pleasure of hearing my Oxford results, having my novel accepted, passing my driving test—things such as these? Life doesn’t work that way.

[…] How exciting to hear you are thinking of turning your austere regard on redbrick academic life (if it is redbrick)! … I should love to offer to stand as technical adviser, but in fact even after 25 years I really know little about provincial university life. As a librarian I’m remote from teaching, examining & research; as a bachelor I’m remote from the Wives’ Club or the Ups & Downs of Entertaining; as an an introvert I hardly notice anything anyway … Oh dear, I really must end—I do hope you are still improving, perhaps not to the point of resuming work, but improving anyway. Sincerest good wishes.

Yours ever,

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se alguma vez julguei juntar no mesmo conceito constantinopla no século dezassete e larkin nas suas férias de classe média com a mãe, junto ao mar, nunca mesmo. a história da história, eis o mais interessante da história.

as denegadas

history of persian literature.

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