Tuesday, December 18, 2012

peeling dedications abandoned

Ivy climbs a metal post where paint is peeling.

An anthology of French literature which  I open today has a  hand-written note on the flyleaf.  I admit to finding it  intrusive. It may seem ungracious but  it prompts me to think about the practise of dedicating  books given as presents. It is something I have myself refrained from.  It  strikes me as immodest and presumptuous. On the other hand were the note-writer James Joyce or Graham Greene I realise that it would add immensely to the value the book and my pride in possessing it. As it is I have one book with a note from the author on the fly leaf of which I am duly proud and  for which I am truly grateful. It is Gorgon Times by my friend, Roderick Robinson. I am glad that he doesn't share my misgivings.

The  hideous, empty cinema behind hoardings on the corner of Church Road and Mount Pleasant will soon become an ancient monument, perhaps a tourist destination in its own right.  The people of Tunbridge Wells have stopped complaining about it. They have simply become used to it. Today I pause  on the pavement opposite to look up at the broken windows in its mountainous superstructure. I used to photograph the pigeons which took up residence in the empty rooms and auditoriums and which posed for me on  window sills and air vents as they emerged from a kip. It seems that even they have abandoned the site, for not one of them is to be seen.


marja-leena said...

I thought that was a real tree trunk with odd coloured peeling bark - until I read on.

Roderick Robinson said...

Should I send you another for daily use?

The fact is, between us, GT isn't just a book. It's an asparagus trench we both dug. The shared action is bigger than the thing itself.

And the present short story (provisional title: Gorgon Wings) I referred to will be like an end-of-term paper. Well, sort of.