I was thinking the other day about literary friendships - strikingly different writers who happen to be writing in the same place at the same time, and are friends with one another. What a lot there are!
Some cases that come to mind:
- Samuel Taylor-Coleridge and William Wordsworth
- William Wordsworth (again) and Dorothy Wordsworth
- Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift
- The Bronte Sisters
- Percy Shelley and Lord Byron
- C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams
- Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg
- T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound
- Mike Moorcock, J.G. Ballard, and Brian Aldiss
- G.K. Chesterton and G.B. Shaw
And then there are the marriages/relationships:
- Emily Barret-Browning and Robert Browning
- W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman
- Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley (again)
There are a couple of things that I find interesting about these writers - or those that I know closely, anyway: their styles are so different that most people seem to have a clear preference for one writer over another. Same here: I prefer Coleridge over Wordsworth, Lewis over Tolkien or Williams, and Aldiss over Moorcock or Ballard.
When the friendships or relationships occur across the sexes it might be interesting to see what sort of attention each writer has got: William has got a great deal more attention than Dorothy, for instance. And though Mary Shelley has garnered lasting fame through her first novel, Frankenstein, none of her other novels (she wrote several more) - or her work as editor/collater of Percy's poems for the benefit of posterity - has got as much attention.
Also, while I personally tend to look at these groups as individuals who happen to know one another, I wonder if there wasn't more to it than that? There's a passage in C S Lewis's The Four Loves, which I've just read, which observes that when, in a group of friends, one friend dies, the survivors lose not just their friend, but the part each had shared with their dead friend. (He expresses it by means of one of those weird algebraic equations: 'When C dies, A not only loses his part in C, but B's part in C as well'.) So while I greatly prefer Lewis over Tolkien, of course, one wonders what each brought out in the other, and how that showed in their books? Are each to blame for the other person's writing?
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
- ► 2014 (135)
- ► 2013 (173)
- ► 2012 (275)
- ► 2011 (261)
- ► 2010 (288)
- Oxford Dictionary, first addition edition
- Stuff about things, and other very specific exampl...
- Melbourne, city of parking lots
- Sing a song of internet...
- Rumours of Jeff Goldblum's life faked
- You can do everything that's legal, except for the...
- Zippy the Zilchead
- Sort-of David versus not-quite Goliath
- Rant, rant, rant
- Question of the day
- One's company, two's a tradition
- Utterly puerile (and I'm not referring to my blog)...
- What's it all about, Alfy?
- The varying grotesqueries of human nature
- Things that make you go bloom!
- The cheese inquiry
- Breaking news: film made
- Agreeing to disagree over your similarities
- 'Abhors' are 'Leasers, Oh'!
- Famous penultimate words
- Slicing and dicing, with extra Jung
- Fudged if I know
- It's true
- Splitting a difference of hairs
- This post was brought to you by the letter C and t...
- Words that start with O: ordinary, oligopoly...
- Random comments of a chaotic nature
- ▼ June (28)
- ► 2008 (316)
- ► 2007 (392)
- ► 2006 (373)
- ► 2005 (287)