On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Monday, 23 January 2012

Museums of the Mind

And to conclude my whistlestop tour of the English cathedral cities, to Norwich. This time a meeting which meant I blew through Norwich on the fringes of time. Not a city preserved in aspic, but a rushing about, windy, well-signposted city blending ancient (cathedral), not so ancient, Jarrolds department store, and new (hideous multi-storeys and ring-road etc.)

What I loved was the rather nutty, very crammed, very busy castle/museum/art-gallery which contains a teapot collection, a Matisse, stuffed birds, Anglo-Saxon brooch pins and a rather nasty prison museum, detailing the scheming, blackguard-ly murderers who were interred there and subsequently hung. Now that is a museum. It's a museum like the contents of my mind. A right old hotchpotch of history. I've been reading Musees des Beaux Arts by Auden, where he makes the point about suffering going on in the background, while ordinary life continues. And so teapots and torture, immediate past trampling on distant past, a taste for taxidermy replaced by a taste for - well, different forms of recreating nature. It's all there, all the time. Human memory.

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