JUDY KRAVIS

www.roadbooks.ie

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

This summer I have read the five last novels of Virginia Woolf, and the complete works of Roger Deakin. I have grazed elsewhere of course, but this was the backbone. For September I'm thinking of Tristram Shandy again. A poor summer (we have had a pandemic you know) seems a good moment for an old novel that takes a long time to begin and is tongue-in-cheek throughout. There are blank pages and black pages, tons of question marks.

Roger Deakin's Waterlog has blank stretches of water and black stretches of water, endolphins jumping in mountain streams, apprehension in pike-filled, eel-rich, silent, streams. About a third into his journey he wonders what he doing anyway, is he going mad like Ned Merrill in The Swimmer? What is this journey around Britain's waters, defying and seeking out, trespassing with intent, interrupting current practice in oversupervised waters? Enjoying old lidos and swimming holes? Satisfying a restless spirit. For now.

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