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Friday, 27 February 2015

Jenny Diski, "Why didn’t you just do what you were told?" - and more; Skating to Antarctica




I am reading the highly-recommended memoir "Skating to Antarctica, A Journey to the End of the Earth". It is an engrossing read. I am currently re-reading a profound section on the nature of memory (page 154)....

Now contemplating a section on the experience of depression (p 190-191)...

Finished. An exceptional book.

"There are infinite ways of telling the truth, including fiction, and infinite ways of evading the truth, including non-fiction" (p.229)

I am reminded of a sonnet by Hopkins

"O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there".

In Jenny Diski's book, the mind has icebergs.

From London Review of Books - "Why didn’t you just do what you were told?"


Doris and Me


Blackness ever blackening


Wikipedia Entry


In her book "The Sixties" (2009), Jenny Diski is particularly strong on 60's ideas about schooling and education (Chapter 5, p 108-118, pb ed.), and about the influence of R D Laing (Chapter 6), and Roy Jenkins (Chapter 4, p. 64-65).

She seems to have got it wrong about Jimmy Savile, who, amongst others, apparently called for a Nationwide Petition for Public Decency, and campaigned for 'traditional values' to prevail by virtue of the moral majority coming out to be counted" (p.85).



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