Saturday 26 December 2015

On yet another wet day, I start Djuna Barnes' Nightwood, on foot of a review of a Peggy Guggenheim biography, and have to restart at least four times, weary from the first line—to say nothing of TS Eliot's introduction, which I couldn't finish—of sentences that take forever to get there. 'There is no there there', as Gertrude Stein said.

I am rewarded on page 28, however, by this:
After a long silence in which the doctor had ordered and consumed a Chambéry fraise and the Baron a coffee, the doctor remarked that the Jew and the Irish, the one moving upward and the other down, often meet, spade to spade in the same acre.
From then on I am reading in the right key, and there is, over to the northwest, a sign of clearance in the sky.

William Burroughs admired Nightwood. It would work well as a cut-up. Better, even.

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