Tuesday 18 October 2022

Rivka Galchen's father

In the New Yorker I read Rivka Galchen's personal history of her father, her happy childhood.  How do you get over a happy childhood? she asks. Most of us are stopped in our tracks by this. A happy childhood is a tough act to follow, she says. In her Wikipedia photo she does not look like a woman with a happy childhood. Then again I don't know if I'd recognise a happy childhood if I bumped into one. Her piece about her father was onward and urgent. Her mother was perhaps a dishrag. Happy childhood deals with less than you think.

On tv I saw Ralph Fiennes' Four Quartets. I read them anew in his performance. In the New York Review of Books I read about Piet Mondriaan, and Gilgamesh, and Josephine Baker, Louise Brooks, the dances of Pam Tanovitz. By my stove at the start of the evening, I read Fergal Gaynor's cubist portrait of Hippolytus, his dismemberment and reinstatement. A shake-up of the inheritance, every way you look. At my computer I read Counting Backwards from 100, my insomnia exercise made into a small book, a ramification of number memory and loose association.

We are into the rainy season. Mushrooms are good this year. The pond has started to flow after five months. 

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