Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Katherine and Virginia

Sunday 13 may: The Channon Craft Market:

We're there selling pots (you know pots: the things you eat and drink out of). 'Are they keramic?' asks a bearded man from Leichardt, Sydney, using a hard k. Yes, keramic, we assure him. Saw him a few moments later at the bread board stall next door (asking if they were made of wood, perhaps?)

It can be wearying at the market. A bright spot - Trev's Books was there.

Trev has good taste in books, and his stall is like going to a good second hand bookshop. Bought from Trev over the years: Riders in the Chariot, by Patrick White, Novel on Yellow Paper, by Stevie Smith, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott ...

On Sunday I saw a book by moi there (A Charm of Powerful Trouble). It's funny how distant I feel from it. And how I don't feel like a writer. Oh, I wrote that, I think idly, and pass by.

Bought from Trev for $5 on Sunday: Virginia Woolf :Women and Writing, (The Women's Press 1979), which is a collection of various of her essays and reviews on that subject.  It's nice to dip into Virginia, oblivious of the people wandering into the stall. I take a leaf from our friend Jean, also a potter, and read and ignore them. If they want something they'll let you know.

From a review of The Journal of Katherine Mansfield, 1914-1922, which appeared in the New York Herald Tribune on 18 September 1927:

Virginia quotes Katherine:

There is so much to do and I do so little. Life would be almost perfect here if only when I was pretending to work I always was working. Look at the stories that wait and wait just at the threshold ... Next day. Yet take this morning, for instance. I don't want to write anything. It's gray; it's heavy and dull. And short stories seem unreal and not worth doing. I don't want to write. I want to live.

For me, it was like that thing you can do with a favourite book: open a page at random, put your finger on a passage, and it says something relevant to your life.

And yet, as Woolf comments, "No one felt more seriously the importance of writing than she did."

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