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February 28, 2007
"He strode the balcony and watched the sea."
That's been my computer screen since yesterday. It began as something much longer and more elaborate, I think with some mention of the thrash of waves, and I was so horrified by its indulgence (and, deep down, painfully lazy) that I haven't been able to go on to describe the sea in any detail since. I'm not even sure if "strode the balcony" can count as proper English, but I wanted to avoid a rhythm-killing "across" as much as was humanly possible.
New beginnings, then, have often been hard for me, and writing about myself doubly so. I tried to keep a journal at school: I'd normally just get down one overlong splurge of feverish self-analysis, read it back to myself, and then tear it up. Hopefully this attempt will be different: this post, at least, I plan to keep very short, with no introductions, and just put in something I read a few days ago and am still mulling over. It's often a real shame, to read something inferior by an writer you love, and so I was very happy, after eighty pages of self-conscious social witticisms in Dostoyevsky's Summer Impressions, to find this:
"In London you no longer see the populace. Instead, you see a loss of sensibility, resigned, systematic, and encouraged...what is needed, on the contrary, is a higher degree of individuality than has hitherto been seen in the West."
Over a century ago...