Monday, May 25, 2020

Odd couple …

… Sex, lies and despair: unseen letters reveal Larkin's tortured love | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Sutherland, professor emeritus of modern English literature at University College London, was taught by Jones, and he attributes his career to her. He is now finishing a book on Jones, based on the letters, to be published next year by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. He expressed surprise that no one had written a biography of her before as she was the most important person in Larkin’s life.


  1. The Guardian slagging Larkin. Who'd of thunk it? In addition to the desire to debilitate Larkin's reputation, here in matters of his private sexual life and other times of race(well, really, what else is there in life but gender and race?) is the predictable effort to see Jones as the genius behind the pervert. And they want a donation to enable them to keep this penetrating criticism going. As an antidote to this creepy psychologizing, turn to Clive James's "Somewhere Becoming Rain."

  2. Yes, I think you're right. There are plenty of couples like Larkin and Jones. There are not many poets like Larkin. And for all the criticism one hears about him, he seems to have often been rather nice.