Friday, 15 May 2009


Tomorrow Max and I are going to get on a bus at 7 in the morning to drive all the way through Austria and Hungary to Romania. It's a university study trip and I'm torn between being happily excited because I'm going to South Eastern Europe at last, getting the chance to see lots of Orthodox monasteries and being very sceptical, mostly because of the possibly dangerous combination of other students, alcohol and a long time spent on a bus. Per aspera ad astra, indeed!
I'll leave you with more pictures of the wonderland that is Utrecht and a heartbreaking real-life tale which could just as well be fiction, as found in Elizabeth Heine's excellent afterword to Forster's "The Longest Journey".

per aspera ad astra

trees and water

In 1905 Meredith moved to Manchester as a lecturer in economics, and in a letter to Keynes, adressed from Dunwood House, Withington, on 27 April 1906, he remarks, in an Apostolic context:
"But I think I am dead really now - or perhaps I should say I realize now what was plain to others two years ago. I come to life temporarily when I meet Forster."
Forster's appropriation of "Dunwood House" as the name of Herbert Pembroke's boarding-house at Sawston School, where Rickie is so unlike his former self, perhaps reflects more active efforts on his part to "save" Meredith, who did finally marry in July 1906; his wife was Christabel Iles, G.E. Moore's first woman student. Forster's diary entry for 22 June 1906, the day after his return from a visit to Manchester, has a few short words or initials scratched out, but reads:
"I am cut off from [?] [?]: but in recompense will [?] remain beautiful for ever? unattainable equals unchangeable? From the window I see attainers: they look not happy."
The next entry, for 3 July, is very brief:
"Reasons against suicide: (i) selfish (ii) nature ceaselessly beautiful."

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