Another big review, this time by Blake Morrison in the Guardian. Not wanting in any way to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it does slightly worry me when people just pick out the horrors in LD’s treatment of Nancy and don’t give any balancing view – like he was producing amazing poetry and prose – and had enough self knowledge to know he was being monstrous, some of the time. Not all. But I guess it’s more dramatic for a reviewer to savour the shocking bits.
And have today listened to the Guardian’s excellent and thought-provoking podcast; the Guardian book club is going to be looking at the AQ over the next 4 weeks. A word that is being chucked around in relation to his work rather too much is ‘pretentious’ – it ought to be banned for fear it says more about the speaker than the person spoken of. Zest and merriment were an important part of the mix. I’ve just been reminded of the following wonderful quote from Clea:
“Like all young men I set out to be a genius,
but mercifully laughter intervened.”