Sunday, February 20, 1983

The great revelation

Hit the sack at nine last night feeling completely drained and weary, and as I lay in bed I could hear short bursts of Lindsey’s laughter as she talked with Gareth and Stu down the corridor . . . I ended up thumping the radiator and putting a record on to drown out the sound. I woke up briefly at midnight to get some food and didn’t get back up until 12.30 today.

I have a lot of work to do still, and today’s schedule has to accommodate writing two Modernism essays and reading the entire three hundred pages of Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. I need to change, perhaps something drastic, maybe become a recluse and lock myself away in my room from day to day . . . but I'm too gregarious for that. I really hate living here at times: I turn into such a pathetic bastard, spending my time so pointlessly, always gripped by lethargy. It's horrible, these dull resentful feelings, baulking at the thought of the effort needed to do anything. Will I go through my life doing nothing, merely because I “couldn’t be bothered”?

"What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with the years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark . . . In the midst of chaos was shape."

Now I'm faced with staying up all night to get at least one of these essays done . . . Eliot so obscure, so ephemeral, so difficult to pin down. If “The Wasteland” does reflect the intellectual sterility of the post-WW1 world then it's only on the level of reflecting its incomprehensibility, its confusion and dislocation.

I've been more or less been shut in my room all day, reading and listening to the sounds of others outside. Mr. R in To the Lighthouse.

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