Author Topic: Friday Night Ride to the Coast 16th May to Brighton


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First - a belated thankyou to Andrij for his rounding up of the Eastern Tendency. It's much appreciated.

Second - the southern route is usually Turners Hill, Ardingly, turn left at Lindfield Post Office, Slugwash Lane, Wi*******ld, Ditchling. Those of you who have been before will appreciate that the village that we dare not name has a particular, one might say peculiar fascination for me. I do try and say a few words each time we pass through, but sometimes one's emotions still one's mind and stop all speech

The unforeseen calamity with which I found myself engaged, it seemed to me that I had already known it also (as I had known of G***o’s friendship with a pair of Lesbians), from having read it in so many signs in which (notwithstanding the contrary affirmations of my reason, based upon G***o’s own statements) I had discerned the weariness, the horror that he felt at having to live in that county of Sussex, signs traced as though in invisible ink behind his sad, submissive eyes, upon his cheeks suddenly inflamed with an unaccountable blush, in the sound of the window that had suddenly been flung open. No doubt I had not ventured to interpret them in their full significance or to form a definite idea of his immediate departure. I had thought, with a mind kept in equilibrium by G***o’s presence, only of a departure arranged by myself at an undetermined date, that is to say a date situated in a non-existent time; consequently I had had merely the illusion of thinking of a departure, just as people imagine that they are not afraid of death when they think of it while they are in good health and actually do no more than introduce a purely negative idea into a healthy state which the approach of death would automatically destroy. Besides, the idea of G***o’s departure on his own initiative might have occurred to my mind a thousand times over, in the clearest, the most sharply defined form, and I should no more have suspected what, in relation to myself, that is to say in reality, that departure would be, what an unprecedented, appalling, unknown thing, how entirely novel a calamity. Of his departure, had I foreseen it, I might have gone on thinking incessantly for years on end, and yet all my thoughts of it, placed end to end, would not have been comparable for an instant, not merely in intensity but in kind, with the unimaginable hell the curtain of which Naggers, his beloved mother, had raised for me when she said: “M.  G***o has gone.” In order to form an idea of an unknown situation our imagination borrows elements that are already familiar and for that reason does not form any idea of it. But our sensibility, even in its most physical form, receives, as it were the brand of the lightning, the original and for long indelible imprint of the novel event. And I scarcely ventured to say to myself that, if I had foreseen this departure, I would perhaps have been incapable of picturing it to myself in all its horror, or indeed, with G***o informing me of it, and myself threatening, imploring him, of preventing it! How far was any longing for Wi*******ld removed from me now!

the bit above is from 'Grief and Oblivion' (the point is to make the madeleine)