we are an enduring lot

Elsewhere, stands of scrub had overgrown the old walls to make intimate sunken bays floored with turf. They looked like rooms in the intimacy of the western sun. You felt instantly calm. You felt instantly at home, until what you thought was a chalk bank, cut deeply by the footpath, revealed ends of brick. It was all going back to the earth. Landscape as a metaphor for the constructed had met & become tangled with the metaphor of the built environment, & they had collapsed into one another. It made you think about the sorts of things that architects said at the beginning of the last century, about the good effect of the right architecture on people’s lives. The sense that people could be cared for by the architects themselves, & architecture be a way of replacing the accidents of the vernacular, the disorderly provisions of the natural world.

Then, as you walked further up the hillside, everything opened out again suddenly to wide re-entrants grass-glowing in the sunlight, opened out to the long ridges dotted with isolated hawthorns and patches of burnet rose. The wind opened everything out and moved it along.

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4 responses to “we are an enduring lot

  1. I really like this. Good good stuff.

  2. Josep

    I enjoyed translating “The Ice Monkey” into Spanish. (Now, unfortunately, available only in bookshops like the one in “Egnaro”). Let me afford a single sentence: “parecían habitaciones en la intimidad del sol poniente”. Beautiful. It’s a pleasure to read you, Mr Harrison.

  3. uzwi

    Hi Lara, thnx. It’s part of a note for the new book. The rest of the note is meaningless even to me. Every time I get near the South Downs, something new happens. Lots of chemistry is going on between me & chalk. But the book is still being a tease. I’ve got characters, scenes, images, lots of events horror & weirdness, & even a synopsis. What I still don’t quite feel is who it wants me to be. If I commit without knowing that, there’ll be a disaster.

    Hi Josep. Glad you liked that image. You wrote, “Now, unfortunately, available only in shops like the one in ‘Egnaro’”. At least we can console ourselves that our work has made a perfect fit between content & medium…

  4. Josep

    You’re absolutely right! Fortunately, the book is a cult item amongst the many readers that you have in Spain. Thanks for your reply and for enliving our mornings with your blog.