Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bin Ends

1. A random connection in something I was reading led me to open Anthony Powell's Temporary Kings at random. Isn't this great?
At the time of his death, Trapnel's oeuvre, so far as I knew, consisted of The Camel; the selection of short stories published as Bin Ends; a fair amount of additional stories, never yet collected, some dating back to his early days as a writer before the war (when he had kept himself alive by all sorts of odd employments); a miscellany of occasional pieces, criticism (some of it quite good), articles, parodies, stuff written for papers like Fission, and never brought together; finally the conte (unpublished in Trapnel's lifetime on accound of some legal battle over 'rights') Dogs Have No Uncles. A work in Trapnel's liveliest manner, almost long enough to be called a novel, its posthumous appearance with Salvidge's Introduction had done something to prevent Trapnel's reputation from slumping too severely after his death. All this did not constitute a large aggregate of work, but, togehter with what was available in other material, should make a respectable critcial biography. In any case, Trapnel's was still an unexplored period. Gwinnett added another item.

'Did you know he kept a Commonplace Book during his last years?'
2. Rather unfascinating connection, but still:

Stephen King's piece in the WaPo (courtesy Light Reading) contains this passage:

Quotes do come to mind, however. One of them is Gertrude Stein's famous bon mot concerning Oakland, Calif.: "There is no there there." Another is Otto von Bismarck's on the legislative process. "Laws are like sausages," he said. "You sleep far better the less you know how they are made."

Less than an hour after reading this, I was looking at the Sunday Times books pages, and came across this ad for something called "Hello," Lied the Agent, featuring a blurb from Ted Danson: "They say it's best not to know how laws or sausages are made. Add television shows to that list.[...]"

3. Sir Stubble directs our attention to E.V. Lucas and George Morrow's delightful, catalogue-inspired whimsy, What a Life!, now available online. A precursor to Barthelme—and Married to the Sea?


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