Friday, February 11, 2005

This and That

I love stuff like this:

When source material is as heavily manipulated as it has been in Dodgson’s [aka Lewis Carroll] case, it can support widely different interpretations of his life and work, and special interest therefore attaches to anything that has not been tampered with. Recently I discovered that Barclays Bank held, in their archive near Manchester, the entire C. L. Dodgson account. Dodgson, along with many nineteenth-century Oxford “characters”, banked at Parsons Thomson, or Old Bank, which had become a branch of Barclays (the building that housed it, on Oxford High Street, is now a hotel). According to Barclays’ helpful archivist, no one had ever seen Dodgson’s account, because no one had ever asked to. Forgotten and unread for over a century, it is the only major uncensored document about him that is known, and it makes revealing reading.
Makes me fantasize about being a literary sleuth. Arthur Miller is dead and The Enfranchised has a blow-by-blow of the media rush to write obits. I've read Death of a Salesman and The Crucible and liked them both, but was never compelled to read anything else. Still, I think Miller left some great work. Writing can be theraputic? Duh! My therapist's name is Diary. We've been together since I was 12. Without her/him (I'm never sure) I wouldn't be the responsible, well adjusted adult that I am (stop that snickering up there in the peanut gallery!). Anyway, Blake Morrison and Susie Orbach chat about writing and therapy. It is an interesting conversation, but I can't help the impression that she's doing the whole how-does-that-make-you-feel therapist thing on Morrison.