Friday 3 April 2020

Tyler and Hockney

I can't imagine why I was looking on the BBC News website – perhaps I was hoping to strike comedy gold? It's happened before – but at present of course it's wall to wall Covid-19, like everywhere else. However, I struck gold of another kind, in the shape of this lovely interview with Anne Tyler.
  Like most writers, she's not finding her life much changed by the quarantine restrictions. 'I need to be alone,' she says. 'I feel worn out if I'm in a group for a long time.' That, I suddenly realised, is exactly how I've felt for some while – it's not that I don't like spending time in company; it's just so tiring.
  I like what she says further down, apropos writing essentially the same novel every time: 'I always say when I'm starting a book, "This one's gonna be different. About halfway through, I say, "Oh darn, it's the same book over again."'
  Also on the BBC News site (hat tip here to Frank Wilson) was David Hockney's letter, from lockdown in Normandy, to – argh – Will Gompertz. The pictures are pretty awful but immensely cheering, and the words contain a few nuggets of Hockney wisdom, including the splendid summing-up, 'This will in time be over, and then what? What have we learned? I am 83 years old, I will die. The cause of death is birth.'
  'The only real things in life,' he concludes, 'are food and love in that order [really, in that order? Well, he is 83] ... I really believe this, and the source of art is love. I love life.' Agreed there. I think.



  1. "Food and love in that order" . . . reminds me of the old codger who, when a young charmer comes on to him with "Wouldn't you like some super sex?" answers, "I'll take the soup."

  2. Ho ho – good one, Baceseras!