Monday, August 28, 2006
# Posted 7:46 AM by Patrick Belton
Hillier may not necessarily have been antecedent of the mystery letter which surfaced on Wilson's doorstep, and afterward wended its way into his Betjeman in evidence of a heretofore unknown affair with Anglo-Irish writer Honor Tracy. Whoever was, however, was possessed of a sense of humour and cunning I must applaud. Read the first letter of each sentence in the letter in question:
Darling Honor,Scholastic snarking, as among film buffs, has its spectatory pleasures. (4) opinions -- Add your opinion
For his centenary a week ago, Martin Jarvis referred to his as 'the voice of a teddy bear on speed.' (Times)
John Betjeman is rumoured to have been to bed with W.H. Auden. Someone once said on seeing a photo of Auden's highly wrinkled face: "If that's his face, God knows what his scrotum is like!"
JB might have been in a position to offer an informed opinion...
Libby Purves writes an immensely readable note in today's Times arguing that the whole charade reminds us, or ought to, that personal details of the writer, beyond the most perfunctory, are a distraction:
[M]odern British readers are far keener to read clever-dick analysis and Hello!-style gossip about great writers than we are to approach their actual works, laying ourselves innocently and humbly open to what they have to say to us. It is good for publishers’ profits but less good for our souls. I was lucky enough years ago to study literature under tutors who demanded that we acquire only the most basic historical context and sketchy personal information about the masters, but who insisted that we knew each text and judged it by its intended meaning, its truth and the skill of its execution.
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