Thursday, February 23, 1984

Fabric of the everyday

I’m planning an essay on William Carlos Williams and his relationship with the Modernist artists of the early 20th C; I want to compare Duchamp’s ready-mades and Williams’ “Red Wheelbarrow” (from Spring and All) etc. . . . I’ve done a little reading today in the library and I think I can produce a decent piece of work, as it’s very interesting—in fact so much so that I could hardly keep my mind focused on the specific problem long enough and so had to come home, intending to utilise this momentum in a much needed attempt to write something here a bit more worthy than the usual pap.

Instead I got enmeshed in the fabric of the everyday—conversations, extraneous thoughts, the fruitless chat and chaff of humdrum living—and I forgot my resolve.

Sometimes I find living in a communal household fairly difficult, and I’m reduced to a state of edgy irritation and needless ranting. Tonight I was as fractious as ever, and it produced exactly nothing. My natural disposition is towards the solitary and self-contained and I think there’s a lot to look forward to in living alone (as Barry, Lee and I all intend doing after June 30th). We’re going to start looking soon.

Lee faces an assessment on March 14th he says he knew nothing about, and he’s a bit alarmed as he feels he’s done nothing really apart from his photogram box, which he’s now going to build into a full-size room, complete with glass-paneled door. He and I removed one from the vicarage up Albany Mount tonight and struggled with it back to the Art College.

Now Ade is here, waiting vainly for Barry to turn up. Plans for the as yet unnamed band still fly back and forth, with drummers to be contacted, portable recording studios to be booked, tapes to be made etc. Five months has produced nothing but plans, plans and more plans. Barry’s out more evenings than not; potential girl friend Tina has stood him up several times and fobs him off with excuses. He’s also been after a Swedish friend of Inga’s he met recently at the Broadway and, scarce able to conceal his jubilant swagger, announced to Lee and Pete and I that he was spending the night at her place. Turned out he, Inga and the girl slept in the same room on separate mattresses, and her Swedish boyfriend turned up the next morning.

Wednesday, February 22, 1984

No little feel for an image

I got to bed at four p.m. yesterday, arose briefly at midnight and was asleep until early afternoon today.

On campus, I made my apologies to Ian Pugh and he gave me back an essay, which he said was written with “verve, wit, and no little feel for an image.” It’s the comments on form which bother me the most, for the content can be improved simply by putting more effort into research and reading.

Tuesday, February 21, 1984


I started my essay on the Federal Writer’s Project of the ‘thirties at midnight and finished at eleven this morning with eight-and-a-half sides written. I gave it to Stu to hand in. I broke off at three in the morning when Lee called round and we got in to the Westdorgan pub—Lee had broken the lock on the toilet window earlier and we got in by sliding up the sash window. It was raining heavily and the sounds of dripping water masked our surreptitious creepings, but the window must’ve been discovered because the toilet door was locked.

As the morning progressed I wilted and the words came without thought, every sentence a great effort. I came back to Jervis Terrace, walked into Watermouth to the bank, and felt completely at a loss. So I wandered through the streets, buttoned up against the rain.

Records to listen to—Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale, Ligerty, Varese, Boulez. At Watermouth library all people browsing among the few books available made me wonder about the uselessness of all book learning—perhaps it was my sleepless mood.

Monday, February 20, 1984

True conviction

I tried to stay awake last night, but the night inevitably degenerated into weary time wasting, throwing darts at one another. Lee was a necessary distraction. I ended up going to bed at five.

My fast lasted less than twenty four hours. I had no commitment and I wasn’t possessed enough. The chaos and mess all around affected me mentally and I climbed into bed defeated and miserable. Glimpses of true conviction come weakly, if they come at all.

So today I had no recourse but to miss my tutorial again. Now we are all in trouble: I haven’t been to Ian Pugh’s seminar since 30th January and Barry and Pete are in the same boat as I am. It’s now after dark, and I’m going up to Stu’s to write that essay.

Sunday, February 19, 1984

Communist society

Inga and her friend called round, and then Ade gave Lindsey and I a lift onto campus where I helped her put Revolutionary Communist Society posters advertising a talk on the Irish War around campus. I also took out library books for a Conflict and Consensus essay about the Federal Writer’s Project due tomorrow before hitching back.

I’m going to try and stay awake all night and write the essay for the morning.
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