American Poetry from the Beginning to Whitman by Louis Untermeyer

To Al

A gift for Christmas and Birthday, and for a boat farewell.

Shortened [?] as it has proved to be, it has been an honour to have shared a derelict sinking heap of metal with you.

Please, no guilt or responsibility – some dreams were destined to sink. We’ll have to find ways to be indescribably cool in other ways – do I hear applause beginning? The Revue is coming to town…

Take care, my friend

Luke [?] [face doodle]


Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje


Running in the Family Cover

Running in the Family Inside


Hi Dear Matt –

Have you read this? Maggie sent it to me – and now I send it to you. I think the brother he mentions in the book is the fellow who bought Miss Gillams house – what a crazy family! You will find this entertaining.

Note: “Lala” within these pages – and the author’s account of her life and death (the author’s Grandma)

Mr Palomar by Italo Calvino


Inside Back

[Inside Front]

Sleeping in the eaves with an early rise. Working through Kate’s bookshelf. A few good numbers of a sheepskull [?]. Nothing but dreams tonight of you & foreign countries. Crossing the borderline. Yours with a pulsing heart & taunting loins [?]. Goodnight sweet girl. JDx

Hello ROSE! when Glasgow is far and train journeys long, think of all the fun we will have when you come to Sweden. Lips & lips to you. Love S.

Empty swimming pools freak me out. So hard to get into. Dewey eyed goodbye to West Country. Back around 3. Listening to Phantom music in rain & thinking about Aragon & my growing love for it. JDx

Wet green land. Nothing exotic to see. My eyes droop & then I read about africa & then I feel guilty. Nothing to stimulate. No agitation except bundu boys & [?] clinging to a warm body that left me cold when I left it. Coming back to it now I am refuelled & need to rest & recreate fiction

[Inside back]

Kat & Keith about to arrive from London. Putting them up for the night. Rain pouring down. Editing & already complaints from upstairs. Good [?] [?]. Missing your kisses & awaiting ramification comrade Brighton Love JD.

Dear Rosie – Brisk late night walk up Byres Rd after editing and another sure fire smell in the air. Hungry as a stray dog for your return. Kisses on you while you sleep. My sweet alley cat. Sshhh xxxx

Published in: on August 20, 2018 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley


To Donald

The result of a “cup of tea” at “the army & Navy” and with confidence in his future literary achievements

from M.P.

Easter 1941

Darling Don

Much love at Christmas and all through 1967  however much the wind blows from the East




Published in: on August 13, 2018 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

London 1997

Dear Nanu

ref p208

I don’t expect that I ever made the centre of the wheel. I have climbed on & been thrown off just like everybody else.

(but I shall continue to climb on).

Yours etc Ronnie

P.S I think this answers the relationship between public school & prison.





Published in: on July 20, 2018 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Capital Volume 1 by Karl Marx



To help you through the next few lectures. And life!

With the hope that you will always be fighting, with hand, heart and head, for a world that is politically democratic and socially & economically egalitarian. And urge me on when I don’t!

‘Much remains to be undergone; be firm, be undaunted – your success is certain, and no step you will have to take in your onward march will be lost to our common cause, the cause of Humanity’

Engels 1845

Loveday [?]

Christ Church!

27 April 1989

Published in: on July 20, 2018 at 10:39 am  Leave a Comment  

The Trial by Franz Kafka




To Marilyn

Memories of Folly Bridge,

Oxford. August 1967

You are ever in my heart.

Published in: on June 22, 2018 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  

The Honorable Picnic by Thomas Raucat [Part 1/2]



Singapore, December 1978

Started SQ083 [?] – back again! – London – Bahrain – Bangkok, en route for Tokyo, 7 March 1979. Cont’d Siam Inter-Cont. Hotel, BKK [Bankok], Room 117. Distinctly under very hot weather. Cont’d SR304 BKK-Tokyo, 12.3.79 [???] Awful food. La Nausée at breakfast in hotel. I wonder what awaits me in T’o. I hope a return to sensory clarity! Finished as we come into land at H.K.


[NB. This transcript is very much a work-in-progress. All suggestions gratefully received WG]

Published in: on June 15, 2018 at 9:15 am  Comments (1)  

The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endon [Part 2/2]




Tokyo, 24 March 1979

Started in Tokamachi & cont[inued] in Imperial Hotel, 25.3.79. To Honolulu tomorrow, homewards at last. Cont’d 26.3.79. Narita Airport, under siege by airport protesters. Farewell to Japan. Cont’d & finished [?] 26.3.79, Pan-Am 830, Tokyo-Honolulu. Painful [?] novel.


[N.B. This transcript is very much a work-in-progress. Any suggestions gratefully received. Info on airport protests here. WG.]


Published in: on June 15, 2018 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  

A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd



6th Aug, 1983

My love,

or rather ‘my good man in Oxford’ – to curb all depression and potential grumpiness –