WHO WROTE THIS?

“I think England is the very place for a fluent and fiery writer. The highest hymns of the sun are written in the dark. I like the grey country. A bucket of Greek sun would drown in one colour the crowds of colours I like trying to mix for myself out of a grey flat insular mud. If I went to the sun I’d just sit in the sun; that would be very pleasant but I’m not doing it . . . I shall be nearer Bournemouth than Corfu this summer.”

DECEMBER 1938 Blashford, Ringwood, Hants

I like this quote because it’s pretty much how I feel. I’m not someone who the sun helps to write. I favour rain, cloud and a nip in the air. I’ve always thought I’d never be able to write somewhere where the weather wasn’t constantly changing. Admittedly, I didn’t manage very well one year when the scaffolders came and wrapped the block I live in in cling film and no light got in for six months but other than that one time, I too like the grey country.

How about you? Have you been nearer Bournemouth than Corfu this summer? And do you fancy taking a guess at who wrote this and to whom?

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “WHO WROTE THIS?

  1. I have no idea who wrote it but you are definitely also ‘a fluent and fiery writer’!

    I haven’t been abroad for a few years but I consider myself blessed to feel on holiday when I am at my studio.

    Like

  2. Yes, the quote is from Dylan THOMAS in his letter of December 1938 (?) to Lawrence DURRELL

    TO LAWRENCE DURRELL

    December 1938?
    Blushford,
    Ringwood,
    Hants

    Dear Lawrence Durrell,

    I would have liked to see you too, after that first short meeting in Anna’s house, in a clean pub with an evening before us and pockets jingling and lots of fire and spit and loud, grand affectations and conceits of Atlases and London coiling and humming: but Caitlin and I went away in a pantomime snow, thrown out at midnight, and we spent the night very coldly and trained back without tickets to charity in the morning. Now this warmth is ending, and we’ll train back without tickets to London and live there in a bad convention.

    I think England is the very place for a fluent and fiery writer. The highest hymns of the sun are written in the dark. I like the grey country. A bucket of Greek sun would drown in one colour the crowds of colours I like trying to mix for myself out a grey flat insular mud. If I went to the sun I’d just sit in the sun; that would be very pleasant but I’m not doing it, and the only necessary things I do are the things I am doing. Unless by accidents, and my life is planned by them, I shall be nearer Bournemouth than Corfu this summer. It will need a nice accident for us to live anywhere: we are stages beyond poverty; completely possessionless; and we are willing but angry; we can take it but we don’t want it. I liked your Stygian prose very very much, it’s the best I’ve read for years. Don’t let the Greek sun blur your pages as you said it did. You use words like stones, throwing, rockerying, mossing, churning, sharpening, bloodsucking, melting, and a hard firewater flows and rolls through them all the time…. And it’s so brave too; you used the sudden image of Christ with incredible courage. I mean to borrow the typescript of the Black Book as soon as I get to London.

    But I wonder what Anna will make of Miller’s books. I know her well. Morals are her cup of tea, and books are just beer: she swallows them down without discrimination of taste or body or brew, and judges them by the effect they have on her bowels. For her a good book produces a bad poem from her, containing an independent moral judgement, but the poem could really have been written without the book. And I think it insulting to books to take them as a purgative in order to void material which, with a little constriction of the muscles, could have been voided anyway. My own book isn’t nearly ready. I am keeping it aside, unfinished, and writing off, now, the things which would be detrimental to it if I were to continue. You said on the back of the envelope that you wanted a poem for a special number; I have one I can send but Miller, in his letter, said he did not know when two prose pieces of mine would appear, owing to some unexplained difficulties, and it’s rather silly, isn’t it, sending you stuff to keep and not to print. But do tell me; I’d love to send you the poem of course.

    Sincerely,
    Dylan Thomas

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s