David Profumo

The World Sucks Rocks

Collections of Nothing

By

University of Chicago Press 163pp £14 order from our bookshop

Until I came across this remarkable book, I had been vaguely concerned about my multifarious collecting habits. Over the decades I have accumulated many hundreds of stuffed kittens, sections of barbed wire, tobacco pipes, items of bondieuserie, fishing floats (angling is itself an elemental form of collecting), wine corks, and shaving-foam tins. Entire regions of the house have been made over to assemblages of wrapped soap (fragrant, affordable, graphically packaged) or cigarette packets dating from the 1973–81 period when I was still smoking for England (amongst which facile princeps is my carton from Air Force One). Now, it seems, my various obsessions are but as a foothill compared with the K2 summit that is the lifetime’s achievement of William Davies King.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter