Friday, April 30, 1982

Less and less

Compendium Bookshop sent a reply to my letter, and I almost did a little jig of joy on reading the book list: all of Kerouac’s novels, stuff by Burroughs, Ginsberg, Corso, Snyder, Ferlinghetti, McClure; they even have the Ann Charters biography of Kerouac. I set off to school in an excited, high frame of mind.

Hirst told me that I'm failing totally to understand, grasp or even connect with Conrad. “You have talent but you’re just attaining less and less.” This gave me the humiliating down-to-earth-with-a-Bump realisation that my literary-grandiose-art-jazz pretensions are just that - pretensions. I now feel a despairing but real eagerness to right all my wrongs and start again. Help! I’m throwing it all away!

After school I felt so sickened and fed up with my scruffiness that I had my hair cut to round-the-ear-shortness.

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