new work alert

Towards the end of the first UK lockdown (circa May/June 2020, who really remembers), I started seriously reading Platonov. As a lover of Russian writing, I found myself ashamed not to have read him before. As translator Robert Chandler notes:  “in his mature work Platonov seems to delight in eliding every conceivable boundary—between animal andContinue reading “new work alert”

cultivating sorrow in a locked chest

Reading some old, old letters written by my father to his brother, I came across this critique of the ‘dead sterility of Beckett’: ‘audiences feel at once flattered and reassured by him…the modish despair helps. There is something comforting…how much harder to accept and live up to Blake’s optimism, which is a judgement on allContinue reading “cultivating sorrow in a locked chest”