By Jonathan Meades
"Nothing wilfully invented. reminiscence invents unbidden.' The Fifties weren't gray. In Jonathan Meades's exact, petit-point memoir they're luridly polychromatic. They have been peopled through embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, suicides. loss of life went dogging in all places.
Salisbury, the place he was once cited, had industries: God and the chilly conflict, either one of which supplied a forged of adults for the kid to scrutinise – desiccated God-botherers at the one hand, gung-ho chemical warriors at the different.
The identify is grossly misguided. This booklet is, fairly, a portrait of a disappeared provincial England, a time and position unpeeled with grotesque savour.
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Additional info for An Encyclopaedia of Myself
Thus they know more than he does about various episodes, except for the tragic event itself. They are reluctant to tell their friend what they know for fear of arousing the terrible anguish he experienced at the time of the event and immediately following it. Above all, they may wish to keep from him the malign comments of certain sections of the press (especially if he is someone 'well known'), as well as the reactions of other people and perhaps in particular the silence of certain close friends.
I also consulted specialists in pharmacology and medical biology on important points. Naturally, I read most of the articles which appeared in the press at the time of my wife's murder, in France and in other countries where I am known. I could see that the press behaved very properly', with a few rare exceptions (their motives being clearly political). Thus I did what no one else has either wanted or been able to do before: I gathered together and collated all the available 'information' as if it related to someone else, and looked at it in the light of my own experience and vice versa.
The grey light of a November morning - it was almost nine o'clock on Sunday the sixteenth filtered through the tall window to the left, on to the end of the bed. The window was framed by a pair of very old Empire red curtains which had hung there a long time, tattered with age and burnt by the sun. Helene, also in a dressing-gown, lay before me on her back. Her pelvis was resting on the edge of the bed, her legs dangled on the carpet. Kneeling beside her, leaning across her body, I was massaging her neck.