Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The blog has become a touch frivolous lately. Time to get a little more serious, but only a little.

Most of you will have read at least one book by John Fowles — The Collector, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the Magus —. There is also a collection of essays, called ‘Wormholes’, published in 1999, when I reviewed it for the London Magazine. At that time, under the editorship of Alan Ross — a twentieth century Doctor Johnson — the London Magazine was the sanest and most reliable of literary and artistic periodicals. If Ted Hughes or Philip Larkin wrote a new poem, that was where it first appeared; if Brian Sewell wanted to fulminate about Mark Rothko, or Prince Charles about modern architecture, they did so in the London Magazine. So I felt honoured that Alan would often print my stuff there. Anyway, here’s what I said then about Fowles’s book of essays. And by the way, the faulty possessives in the piece as it appeared are neither mine nor Alan’s, but were put in by one of those illiterates known as ‘copy editors’.

Hope you can read it. I think if you click on the page-images you can make them bigger.

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