De Iers-Britse schrijfster en filosofe Iris Murdoch werd geboren in Dublin op 15 juli 1919. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 juli 2007 en ook mijn blog van 15 juli 2008 en ook mijn blog van 15 juli 2009 en ook mijn blog van 15 juli 2010.
Uit: The Black Prince
„I lived then and had long lived in a ground-floor flat in a small shabby pretty court of terrace houses in North Soho, not far from the Post Office Tower, an area of perpetual seedy brouhaha. I preferred this genteel metropolitan poverty to the styleless surburban affluence favoured by the Baffins. My ‘rooms’ were all at the back. My bedroom looked on to dustbins and a fire escape. My sitting-room on to a plain brick wall caked with muck. The sitting-room, half a room really (the other half, stripped and degraded, was the bedroom) had wooden panels of that powdery dignified shade of green which can only be achieved by about fifty years of fading. This place I had crammed with too much furniture, with Victorian and oriental bric-à-brac, with tiny heterogeneous objets d’art, little cushions, inlaid trays, velvet cloths, antimacassars even, lace even. I amass rather than collect. I am also meticulously tidy though resigned to dust. A sunless and cosy womb my flat was, with a highly wrought interior and no outside. Only from the front door of the house, which was not my front door, could one squint up at sky over tall buildings and see above the serene austere erection of the Post Office Tower.
So it was that I deliberately delayed my departure. What if I had not done so? I was proposing to disappear for the whole summer, to a place incidentally which I had never seen but had adopted blind. I had not told Arnold where I was going. I had mystified him. Why I wonder? Out of some sort of obscure spite? Mystery always bulks larger. I had told him with a firm vagueness that I should be travelling abroad, no address. Why these lies? I suppose I did it partly to surprise him. I was a man who never went anywhere. Perhaps I felt it was time I gave Arnold a surprise. Neither had I informed my sister Priscilla that I was leaving London. There was nothing odd in that. She lived in Bristol with a husband whom I found distasteful. Suppose I had left the house before Francis Marloe knocked on the door? Suppose the tram had arrived at the tram stop and taken Prinzip away before the Archduke’s car came round the corner?
I repacked the suitcases and transferred to my pocket, for re-reading in the train, the third version of my review of Arnold’s latest novel. As a one-book-a-year man Arnold Baffin, the prolific popular novelist, is never long out of the public eye. I have had differences of opinion with Arnold about his writing. Sometimes in a close friendship, where important matters are concerned, people agree to differ and, in that area, fall silent. So, for a time, it had been with us. Artists are touchy folk. I had, however, after a superficial glance at his latest book, found things in it which I liked, and I had agreed to review it for a Sunday paper. I rarely wrote reviews, being in fact rarely asked to.“Doorgaan met het lezen van “Iris Murdoch, Richard Russo, Jean Christophe Grangé, Driss Chraïbi, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rivière”