Colette is one of those rare writers for whom one has not only respect but a deep affection. Affection, because respect and admiration are not enough for a woman who determinedly remained a ‘natural’ and refused to sell herself in the literary market-place. Not for her the claustrophobic world of the salon littéraire, and writer scoring off writer, nor the jealousy and back-biting that all too frequently accompanies it. She made her life among the pleasures and desolations of the day-to-day, and preferred observing nature or watching the fishermen dance at Saint-Tropez to receiving admiring letters. Even to the end she dismissed her own fame, protesting to her daughter, ‘If I were famous, I would know.’
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
I have just spent a wonderful few minutes re-reading the best book review of the year in my opinion. It's by Piers Brendon in September's issue of @Lit_Review. Beautifully captioned as 'Jack the Lad', Brendon takes Fredrik Logevall's JFK: Vol.I apart! It's a laugh a minute. Ouch!
'Perhaps the real modern polymaths are the hidden ones who do not themselves grab the limelight but have the expertise to bring together different fields of knowledge: librarians, teachers, editors of literary journals…'
Jan Morris, who died last week, was a much-loved contributor to our pages. In 2017, she wrote a characteristically witty article about the different winds, their various personalities and how they had touched her life: https://literaryreview.co.uk/let-it-blow.