You cannot stop the birds of sorrow from flying overhead and crapping on your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.
I dreamed last night that American intelligence operatives were investigating the poet WN Herbert, allegedly because, according to dream-logic, he was responsible for – dream quotation marks – ‘blocking up areas of cyberspace that the US security forces deemed particularly sensitive’. In the dream a homeland security spokesman announced on television that the subversive […]
The problem with reading so many books at a time, so many, indeed, that the piles beside the bedside totter and sway; the problem, I think to myself in one of those everyday moments of realisation that seem to link up everything in the universe in a sublime act of synthesis, is that the themes, […]
‘For [Virginia] Woolf, getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.’ Having finally got around to reading Rebecca Solnit’s fine book A […]
The first story I read by Borges, at the age of eighteen, was Tlön, Uqbar, Tertius Orbis. Although the name would have meant nothing to me at the time, the translation was by Alastair Reid. Forty years later, I get to meet the man, now 88 years of age, a little frayed around the edges, […]
Yesterday, intending to do my civic duties and pay my annual dues (known as the Xaloc) at the ajuntament of Rabós, I plodded up the hill, Thursday being one of the two days on which the village hall opens its office to deal with citizens and their affairs. Once inside the ajuntament complex, I notice […]