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A Necklace of Memorable Days

by Factotum

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"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self."

Iris Murdoch, The Nice and The Good

What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.

V. Woolf

" She strung the afternoon on the necklace of memorable days, which was not too long for her to be able to recall this one or that one; this view, that city; to finger it, to feel it, to savour, sighing, the quality that made it unique."

Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being


"Why did I write any of my books, after all? For the sake of the pleasure, for the sake of the difficulty. I have no social purpose, no moral message; I've no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions."

Vladamir Nabokov

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45 West 11th Street circa 1911

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19th Mar 2007, 18:22   | tags:,,

swampdonkeys says:

Oh these are fantastic F! I used to colect old postcards when I was a kid, nowadays it's old knitting patterns...It's amazing how things have changed.

20th Mar 2007, 06:35

factotum says:

These are photographs from one of my grandmother's photograph albums.
The current occupants of this apartment found some others on my blog by googling the address. By coincidence, this couple has the same surname as my grandparents which pleases me enormously.
Swampdonkeys, both my grandmothers and my stepmother's mother kept their postcard albums too. I've hardly looked at them because they seem less "important" than the family photos. I should be scanning (and blogging) some of those too.
I still have the desk that appears in the second set of photos.

20th Mar 2007, 12:33

Viv says:

how lovely to have the desk still

superb 1911 was the year my dad was born

20th Mar 2007, 17:03

swampdonkeys says:

that's great to still have the desk.

22nd Mar 2007, 06:04