By Jonathan Meades
"Nothing wilfully invented. reminiscence invents unbidden.' The Nineteen Fifties weren't gray. In Jonathan Meades's particular, petit-point memoir they're luridly polychromatic. They have been peopled by way of embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, suicides. dying went dogging far and wide.
Salisbury, the place he was once mentioned, had industries: God and the chilly struggle, either one of which supplied a forged of adults for the kid to scrutinise – desiccated God-botherers at the one hand, gung-ho chemical warriors at the different.
The identify is grossly faulty. This ebook is, quite, a portrait of a disappeared provincial England, a time and position unpeeled with grotesque get pleasure from.
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Additional resources for An Encyclopaedia of Myself
In 1938 Tytus and Jerzy were attending their last year of high school. Irena and Marina were also in high school. For me 1938 was a memora- Gone with the Wind 21 ble year as it was my last year of elementary school and I was to start high school by September. To be accepted to a state school we had to pass a very tough examination - those who failed ended in private schools, with lower standards. In June 19381 passed this exam and was admitted to Julius Slowacki Gimnazjum. Mother and Aunt Ania started to plan a summer vacation for us.
But all this was just in the name. In reality, we continued our studies just as before the war. Mrs Helena Kasperowicz, the principal of our high school, and all her teachers were determined to defy the Germans' new curriculum, even at risk to their own lives. Actually, as time went on, quite a number of them were arrested. When we were still in our old school building, Jerzy would often pick me up, and we would walk home together, through the Mokotov Field, avoiding the main streets, where the enemy's presence reminded us of the grim reality.
Jerzy was not able to come due to some other commitment. Nor was Marina with us. Maybe it was due to a temporary break-up with Janek. But Janek, Wladek Slodkowski, Irena Masiukiewicz, and Danuta Bytnar were there. Janek and I spent most of the time together. He unburdened his aching heart to me while we walked over purple, heather-covered meadows, surrounded by the intensely beautiful autumn colours of maple trees with their red hues, slim birches dressed in yellow, and huge oak trees with their amber and yellow leaves.
An Encyclopaedia of Myself by Jonathan Meades