Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Archive of the Day

From Selected Letters of Philip Larkin, 1940-1985 (specifically, from a letter to Judy Egerton on May 25, 1958):
I've been living pretty peacefully at Hull since last seeing you, watching the girders rise on the site of my library, about half as fast as they ought to, and trying to dodge as many university functions as seems decent, and playing some rather clumsy LP recordings of the readings I did for the British Council, finding a certain guilty pleasure in listening to the sound of my own voice. (The BC in familiar cheeseparing fashion used an old tape, so that behind my reading can occasionally be heard the ghost of a string orchestra, appropriate or not as the case may be.) It occurs to me that the apparatus for the creation and maintenance of celebrities is vastly in excess of material fit to be celebrated. But if the apparatus were not to be used, then countless fellows would be out of a job & might have to do some real work for a change, so of course the messy farce goes on. This is the explanation of a great deal of life as we know it.


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