Saturday, November 20, 1982


I’ve spent most of the day torturing over my essay on Berkeley. I got half of it done by one and finally finished at five or so. I’m not satisfied though; I don’t think I’ve answered the question and I feel frustrated. I end on a confused, pseudo-decisive note, more or less saying the question isn’t worth bothering about. At least Monday’s tutorial shouldn’t be as humiliating as last week's.

It feels hardly worth while going back; I’ve only got three weeks of term left. I didn’t see Claire after all. Why am I feeling so soft about her once more? Perhaps I’ve always felt a bit this way, even though my infatuation died a year ago. I haven’t seen her in weeks, and only a handful of times in half-a-year; It’s stupid how I romanticise her and make her something she's not.

Now it’s eight p.m. exactly, Charlie Parker’s ace solo is about to break and I haven’t done my—there it goes!—essay on Whitman or even thought about it yet. . . . It should be a lot less brain-stretching than the Berkeley one was. . . . I’ve just now read Whitman’s 1855 preface to Leaves of Grass and it surges and swells with the sheer joy of life. Impressive stuff.

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