Friday, 14 January 2011

Nouvelle Vague

Hemingway began as a reporter; and only later became a novelist.  One wonders if he ever completely made the transition.  Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises, perhaps his most famous book, suggests some of the weaknesses of the newspaperman.  It is the world understood from the outside; Paris life seen through café windows; Spain from an arcaded square.

The fiesta was solid and unbroken, but the motor-cars and tourist-cars made little islands of onlookers.  When the cars emptied, the onlookers were absorbed into the crowd.  You did not see them again except as sports clothes, odd-looking at a table among the closely packed peasants in black smocks.  The fiesta absorbed even the Biarritz English so that you did not see them unless you passed close to a table.  All the time there was music in the street.  The drums kept on pounding and the pipes were going.  Inside the cafés men with their hands gripping the table, or on each other’s shoulders, were singing the hard voiced-singing.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Emma Bovary was defeated by village life.  But what if her ideals had been greater, and the enemy bigger and far more concrete?  Like a large town or city?  No!  Like the modern state.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

In A Silent Way

Slowly you drift
Around the house.

Trying to surface
You put on Miles

A few bubbles
Float into the room.

Just air enough
To survive the day.

Thursday, 6 January 2011