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Tuesday, 28 April 2015


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Harriet Devine

Blimey! sounds amazing but very hard work. Love the photos -- and love Paris, of course.


Goodness Harriet, I didn't think anyone would actually manage to wade through this post! Thank you :)

It IS hard work - it isn't terribly long though, 14 pages but a lot of white space, and things recur. It's less quotable than The Wasteland, I think, rather hermetic and less obviously 'poetic'.

Christine Harding

I read your post! It was interesting, and the pictures were great, but I'm with Harriet on this one. 'Paris' does sound like hard work, and I'm not sure I'm up to it.

I'll stick with your fairy tale recommendations!


Christine, I'm so pleased you read it, thank you!


Sounds fascinating! So the Collected Poems will provide all the needed commentary? And how cool Woolf did the typesetting for the original. I think she kind of liked typesetting but even when you like something there is a limit and no doubt you are right she probably got a bit frustrated.


Yes, Stefanie, the Collected Poems has the full commentary by Julia Briggs, plus a very good introduction. Also a lot of her other writing, mainly later poems, all of which are much more conventional, very nice but as if written by a different person (which I suppose she was, in a way), but also some short essays.

Heh, perhaps Woolf didn't mind too much; perhaps I projected my own rage at authors who did This Sort of Thing (I used to be an editor)! :)

vicki (bibliolathas / skiourophile)

Fascinating post - so much packed into her lines. I figured it was a journey through the city, but actually figuring out the specifics needed all the help you could give! (And, just IMAGINE annoying Virginia Woolf - eek!).


Thanks, vicki! You should read the rest. It is really something, but you do need Julia really.

(I think Virginia Woolf got her own back by writing Rude Things about Mirrlees in her diaries and letters for us all to read.)

Rob Spence

What a fascinating account of this daunting poem. I've been teaching modernism for many years and have studiously avoided it. Time to grasp that nettle, I think. As a kind of modernist antidote, you might try Wyndham Lewis's Tarr, set in the bohemian Paris of the first years of the 20th century. I don't think Lewis features in your modernist book list, and he should. And with my pedant's hat on, I'm going to say The Waste Land. Three words.


Thank you! It's not as daunting with the notes, and you're obviously better acquainted with the modernists than I am anyway (if you know The Waste Land then you'll find it particularly interesting). (And yes, I should add The Waste Land to my list, how did I miss it?)

I have never read any Wyndham Lewis, as far as I remember, so thank you very much for the recommendation. I'd never even heard of Tarr.

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