Thursday, December 11, 2014

Escape from the helix

               My first letters about finding and mov-
               ing into my house were vivid, but then
               as I settled down to my hermit's exis-
               tence they became more tedious and pro-
               lix.. I only wrote well when something
               was happening that interested me.. I 
               became an articulate letter writer many
               years before I could compose a tolerable
               paragraph - I imagine because I found it
               easier to communicate what I felt to a
               person I wished to amuse and please than
               to compose something of an impersonal sort
               for a faceless public.

I was always divided in my loyalty
to 'Bloomsbury', considered as a
group. There could be no doubt a-
bout the high level of their in-
telligence, while their cult of
good conversation made them very
stimulating people to know. But I
thought that Maynard Keynes' de-scription of them as water spiders swimming gracefully on the surface of the stream contained a good deal of truth.. This attitude was illustrated for me by their opin-ion of Joyce's Ulysses.. They lived by good taste and I saw with regret that I was being carried along the same road and being obliged to live by it too.


  However anything I write
  on Hemingway must be mere
  speculation. I did not see
  him often enough to speak
  of him with any conviction.
  I will only add, he exuded
  vitality. One did not have
  to read his books to feel
  his greatness as a man.

Gerald Brenan
Personal Record
  1920 - 1972
Alfred A. Knopf, 1975©

Xavier Serrano

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