Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Went to a film prompted by Melmoth the Wanderer, though if it hadn't said that on the tin I wouldn't have known. The film rang fewer bells than my memory of the book I last read 40 years ago and more, in its overwrought setting of the Mallarmé Baudelaire years of my life. The film was theirs, not mine. They were perplexed and saddened, it seemed to me, by the difficulties of wandering in our day and age, what with the overrun nature of the world and people, the film people included, needing to know, to document, to interpret, to deconstruct and comment fourteen times before they go to sleep. No wonder it's difficult to wander.

My copy of Melmoth the Wanderer has no markings at all. Evidently I read it and then left it to rest with Orlando and Poe and the Romantic Agony of Mario Praz, to rise to the surface with a diffuse, uncertain aura, just like a smell or a piece of music.

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