Friday, April 01, 2011

Writers like me

We like to imagine writers as deep, cerebral creatures but a recent reading of the Bruce Chatwin biography by Nicholas Shakespeare, with more references to Chatwin's angelic looks, blue eyes and golden hair than to his actual writing, got me to thinking that writers are as superficial and vain, maybe even more so, as supermodels.

Not that I'd ever consider myself a writer (I'm a blogger!) but perhaps I do mainly identify with and like writers who remind me of myself. When I was young I was into, say, Rimbaud, Dylan and Rupert Brooke (when they were young), whom I sort of imagined I looked like at the time.

Now I'm older and greyer, I identify more with, say, Geoff Dyer; tall, skinny, gray, large nose; has lived in Putney and Brixton; well-travelled watcher of art house films and one-time collector of Dylan bootlegs. And David Mitchell; my age, also widely-travelled, stutters, likes Riddley Walker. The fact that I could never write like either of them is beside the point.

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