When people attain a certain level of fame, their notable acts have been so exhaustively described and analysed that what we crave to know about them is the banal and everyday: what they might have in common with the rest of humanity, rather than what sets them apart. This is true of the Queen, for example. Much excitement is created by disclosures about what she has on her breakfast table, and the more normal her tastes, the greater the interest. This is even truer of Margaret Thatcher, not least because we already know as much as we need to about her political battles and legacy: not only were there volumes of her memoirs, but all her senior colleagues published their own accounts.
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'She must pretend to be a walking companion, observe without being noticed and paint the subject from memory, in secret. It's a superb metaphor for the female artist, hidden from history.'
@nclarke14 ponders the resonance of 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'.
'And there in the evening the bride and the gamekeeper
Wait with their faces averted, wait
For the signal to shift and the lamp to glow red
And a train to arrive, but not yet and not yet.'
'It Says Here', from Sean O'Brien's upcoming collection.
Everyone must have been queueing up to review the new Craig Brown Beatles book, which is obviously brilliant – but kudos to @Lit_Review and @DrDominicGreen for conspiring to bring us this bravura reviewing performance (free to read)