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Summer Blog Post Sixteen

Summer Blog Post Sixteen

Dear readers of my blog,

writing to the moment” is a sentence made famous by the essayist of partly Irish descent William Hazlitt, and it still makes sense – either for a diarist or a blogger. I have been keeping diaries since 1987, most of which lying in drawers or kept in chests and hardly ever looked at, let alone exploited systematically. At the moment, they are still only an arm's length away and could help solve some questions where memories either fail to exist or keep cropping up in an inconclusive manner. For the year 1994, however, the calendar I used only allowed for noting appointments and perhaps some cryptic remarks. So I rely on other sources. And memories of all shades start to accumulate once they had been triggered by one or two key-words.

Having browsed for the first time and for some minutes in the review copy of Aldous Huxley, a biography by Uwe Rasch and Gerhard Wagner (Theiss, 2019), the first comprehensive book of its kind to appear in German, I was immediately struck by the remark that – as opposed to most of his contemporaries – Huxley lost the largest part of his personal library as well as the MSS and TS of his works in a fire in California in 1961. This certainly is a serious impediment for any literary biographer. When working for the centenary Symposium held at Münster in 1994, I was of course aware of this but having moved on I must admit that I had completely forgotten about this tragic event in Huxley's life, though I later recalled that I also studied the typescript of Island a lot, the only novel that was still unpublished in 1961.

 

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Jörg W. Rademacher (*1962), born and bred in Westphalia. Attended university at Münster, Dundee and Lille. State exam in 1988. Ph.D. In 1993. Scholar, language teacher as well as writer and translator at Münster until 2002. Since 2002 secondary school teacher, writer and translator in East Frisia. Working on Wilde since 1988. Publishing on Wilde since 2000 as biographer and editor and translator, on a regular basis with Elsinor Verlag since 2012, since 2015 also editor and translator of Oscar Wilde calendars.

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