February 09, 2004
Frances and James

Sad to see the news of the death of Frances Partridge, who died last week. Until her death at 103, she had been one of the last links to the Bloomsbury group.

Fittingly, then, she had always had a lot to say about friendship. Here, she wrote in Love in Bloomsbury:

Why, I wonder, have writers paid so little honour to friendship?....The exciting truth about friendship is it is founded on choice; its possibilities of growth and change are manifold. It fertilises the soil of one's life, sends up fresh shoots, encourages cross-pollination and the creation of new species.

I've always felt much the same way.

Not all of the links to Bloomsbury are gone, of course. There's always Angelica Garnett, who pulled the uber-Bloomsbury stunt by marrying her father's old boyfriend (unbeknownst to her). (Here's a fascinating interview.)

In more respectable news, good old Jimmy Carter is touring Africa and keeping a blog. A traditionalist, he refers to his posts as "Web logs" (and making me think of that old James Thurber line about confusing "the thinger for the thing contained").

He is complete and rather scholarly ("We were honored and entertained by national and local political leaders, with surprisingly delicious meals of local fish, chicken, whole roasted lambs, and local fruits,") and suitably serious and concerned, especially in his awful stories about guinea worms. Every now and then, though, the diplomatic mask slips:

There were also interminable dances, with drums and flutes.


Posted at February 09, 2004 08:54 PM


Roddy no likie Ulysses

Posted by: Chris Dent on February 10, 2004 12:28 AM

Dude, you do know I'm not talking about THAT James, right?

Good article, though.

Posted by: Anne on February 10, 2004 07:07 PM
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