Friday, May 07, 2010

Swimwear, 1996

At the Guardian, a very lovely piece by Robert Macfarlane about serving as his friend Roger Deakin's literary executor (I blogged about Deakin's Waterlog here). The archive has found a home at the University of East Anglia, in "23 linear metres of files and a 54-page catalogue":
I read the catalogue with trepidation, anxious at the thought of seeing Roger's life reduced to a data-set. But it turned out to be a wonderful document: an accidental epic prose-poem of his life, or a dendrological cross-section of his mind. File RD/TW/5/1/7, for instance, contains entries for: "Calvados; bristlecone pines; dachas; diving; jungle boys and land girls; pixies; protestors; skylarks; timber frame houses" – along with about 70 others: a zany haberdashery of Roger's interests. Cryptic entries abound: "The Oriental Rat Flea" or "Nudged by Languid Mullet". File RD/WLOG/1/1/2 contains "Complete MS of Waterlog with corrections. (With a strong fishy smell)".

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