Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shirley Hazzard

I was in Boston to meet Nicholson Baker and then I was in New York to meet Shirley Hazzard - see The Sunday Times today. It has now twice been suggested to me that I am in rehab because of the desert missives. This is not so - unless you count getting out of London to be rehab, which I do - I had two weeks work and then two weeks holiday - Joshua Tree, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs - and then another three weeks work, the locations involved I cannot yet divulge. I am a drifter, hopping freight trains and breaking hearts. But also compiling some formidable expenses.


  1. Was it the last train to San fernando or the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

  2. I really enjoyed the article on Shirley Hazzard. It's hard not to warm to someone who's keenly aware of il destino, and I'm now determined to try more of her work than "The Great Fire". Rehab? You would have been kept incommunicado for the entire time in a compound in Arizona or New Mexico, so that's not very likely. I've never had the opportunity to compile some "formidable expenses". It must be very satisfying. Couldn't you hire a Lambo for a few days, purely for research purposes, and add it to the tab?

  3. Susan B., hazarding a thoughtMay 18, 2008 4:03 pm

    Cleaning out the attic is so instructive. I just found a list of all the books I read in the summer of 1988 and one of them was Hazzard's "The Evening of the Holiday." I don't remember it. And of the 20 books and plays on that list, I also don't remember Balzac's "Eugenie Grandet," or Hardy's "A Laodician." I do, however, remember all of the Walter Scott and George Meredith novels and all of the Shakespeare plays. Next to "The Wings of the Dove," by Henry James, I wrote "Read only 1/2, too tedious to finish."

    Could this be the canon's "test of time" we talk so much about? A mere twenty years and what's hung with me are the stories that have strong plots and believable, identifiable characters.

    Sorry, Bryan, but your love of Hazzard made me note it.

    PS: Can't believe you were in NYC and didn't tell Frank and me -- we are a hop, skip and a jump away. Indeed, I've been there in the last month for a Guggenheim "works in process" event and a dinner party. Guess you'll be forever virtual, you Thought Experimenter!


    HELLO?!! YEAH?...ME TOO!!!!