Although an avid reader from early childhood, having access to a good family library and a well stocked public library, I was pushed into publishing. My real ambition was journalism, which I naively believed carried an aura of romance. However, having received the obligatory shorthand-typing course as equipment for reporting, I found a lack of enthusiasm from hoped-for employers. After watching my fruitless efforts to get a job, my father decided enough was enough and requested my uncle, a prominent bookseller, with good publishing contacts, to find me one. Being office boy at The Bodley Head was made more palatable by the assurance that publishing was the back-door to journalism.
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Perception is a weird thing. Lawrence Durrell saw Hydra as a ‘great horned toad’ but Henry Miller thought it resembled a ‘huge loaf of petrified bread’. Niko Ghika painted it as a series of neat white and orange squares.
The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.