Walks become botanising expeditions to an internal litany of names. Heal-all, toad flax, cranesbill; yarrow, tansy; a rare moth mullein, the ubiquitous birdsfoot trefoil. When a name escapes, the thing has escaped and the world is lessened until the name is recalled, rehearsed, fixed again in place.
Tag Archives | books
The Third Epistle of John, the shortest book in the New Testament, is tucked away in a sort of water meadow between the towering peaks of St. Paul’s dialectical masterpieces and the terrifying bog of Revelations.
I’ve reached an age when anything accomplished invites the pleasingly macabre thought that it might be the last, and it is with something of this feeling I publish my new book.
The methods and the tools would have been recognisable to Gutenberg and Caxton. Slugs and leading, furniture and quoins, composing sticks, a small hand-cranked platen press for proofs, a big motor-driven one (ker-plunk, ker-plunk) for print runs.
Nothing is spared and nothing is explained. No motive, no reason. Eventually we will get there but not now, and anyway these are not really very important. What is important is that we are pitched headlong into the story. Propelled by pity and terror.
In the aftermath of the British referendum on leaving the European Union, and amidst the oceans of commentary already written and still to be written about what it all means, I find myself thinking about my old friend, the late Lionel Rothkrug, and what he would have made of it. More exactly, what we would […]