Wednesday, September 1, 1982


I went to the library at Moxthorpe with Dad and took out Cities of the Red Night by William Burroughs, The Portable Emerson (collected essays etc.) and Quivering Shadows on the Grass, Hugh Haughton’s biography of Helen Vaughan, which is actually signed by the author himself! I made a resolution to systematically read these books for so often I take ‘em back unread: I will read them after I’ve finished Wolfe.

Too often I lack single mindedness and force of character to see one thing through to its end: I get so restless and excited about the prospects of music, books, painting, all of it, that I can’t stay still long enough to actually DO anything concrete. Perhaps that will be my ultimate downfall. . . . I’ll never achieve anything in my life because of these reasons.

Robert and Carol came to go see Athletic in the Northern Counties Textile Cup. I was conscious of what Mum had said, and maybe there was a hint of coolness, I don’t know.

I flew back from Tesco as The Doors were on TV and now I wish I’d bought an LP by them instead of my dull Rip Rig and Panic.

Interesting conversations after the TV was switched off about language, accents and the like. It's fascinating: Robert told us that Anglo-Saxon words provide a more direct, emotive way of expressing something than the longer ‘Romanesque’ words (the contrast between ‘shit’ and ‘excrement’, ‘fuck’ and ‘sexual intercourse’ etc.) It's strange to think that once everyone spoke like that. Supposedly ‘obscene’ words are really just rejected because of the social conventions of the day.

When we were talking I used the word “mythologize” which led Robert to claim that I make words up. Mum: “Does he really?” Rob: “Oh yes, all the time.” It’s a total lie, and annoyed and upset me. Why did he say it?

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