Monday, July 28, 2008

Check out one of my photos from Scotland in an online guide to Edinburgh. The photo is of Holyrood Park.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Guardian presents "Top Ten Welsh Alternatives to Dylan Thomas" - though they didn't include my favorite piece of Welsh writing, The Mabinogion.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And in other news, Grant brought my attention to basically the best cake ever. Man, I wish I were this person's friend.


Story Contest over at The Foghorn

Be sure to enter our first ever story contest, "Home from the Hill." See our Contest page for details.


Friday, July 11, 2008

The answer is "no."

I finally got back to work this week (haven't I said this here before?) after weeks of relocation. This week I finished interviews with photographer Taryn Simon and sculptor Michael Rea, reviewed The End of Europe, and updated The Foghorn.

I'm also catching up on a wonderful backlog of emails and tips from Grant, including these from a "treasure trove" of Evelyn Waugh anecdotes:

From Evelyn Waugh, Portrait of a Country Neighbour, Frances Donaldson, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967.
He entertained himself with grandiose projects [at Piers Court]. He built what became known as The Edifice —a semi-circular stone wall about ten feet in height, surmounted by battlements and with a paved area beneath it. When this was finished he advertised for human skulls to adorn the battlements. He received a surprising number of replies, which I doubt if he had expected, and he had to refuse most of the offerings. The Edifice was not a great success. Many people thought it hideous and Evelyn himself was not satisfied with it, although he got pleasure out of the building. [pg. 23]

From Evelyn Waugh: A Biography, Selina Hastings, Sinclair-Stevenson, London, 1994.
For Evelyn, it [a trip to the US in Nov 1948] was a joyless experience, the unbeautiful campuses, the characterless hotels — in New Orleans he smashed open the window of his air-conditioned room with his stick ... [pg. 536]

From To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell: Volume Two, Messengers of Day, Heinemann, London, 1978.
One night [at W's family home on North End road] Waugh asked if I would like to hear the opening chapters of a novel he was writing. ... Waugh's embryonic novel — then called Picaresque, or the Making of an Englishman — was the first ten thousand words, scarcely altered at all later, of Decline and Fall. The manuscript was written with a pen on double-sheets of blue lined-foolscape, the cipher EW printed at the top of the first page of each double-sheet. There were hardly any alterations in the text. ... Some months after the reading aloud of these chapters — probably a moment towards the end of the same year [1927] — I asked Waugh how the novel was progressing. He replied: 'I've burnt it.' [pp. 21-2]

And, while we're on the topic of Mr. Waugh, Allan Massie of the Spectator asks, "Can a novelist write too well?"

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