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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Thursday, 4 April 2013

Out of my groove

Monday, April 4th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

Unable to write my journal at all these last few days. All ideas of writing were put out of my head, and so I suffered obscurely from that uncomfortable feeling which a person who lives in a groove has when he is shifted out of his groove.

Godfrey arrived on Thursday morning to spend Easter with me. The presence of another man always in the flat disturbed me, especially at times of dressing and undressing. He has slept badly on the sofa bed. This is, of course, another attempt to eliminate, or at least relieve, my speech impediment. I smile to myself now when I think that, when I was at Fulham Park Gardens, Godfrey used to come regularly and I referred to him as a 'pupil'. Was anybody fooled I wonder? The instruction I gave was that there must be "no interruption on any account" when he called. This went on for more than a year and I kept up the pupil pretence throughout. My family's explanation of the speech problem is that it arose when I crushed my fingers in a mangle. Others have suggested that there must be some early emotional scar, now deeply buried. Whatever the cause, the impact on my life has been considerable. I have sometimes felt that my brain is giving two orders at the same time, one dictating speech, the other not-speech. Often the defect has reduced me to silence when I wished to say something, and caused me to give a wrong impression, of excessive self-assertion, when I said it.

Friday afternoon, while I was resting and Godfrey out, there was a ring at the door and Webster appeared. He works in the Inland Revenue Department of the Treasury. He was over in Paris to meet a girl named Lavard. He and she came to tea on Friday and again on Sunday; they left this morning. We lunched with them at the Hotel Monsigny on Saturday.

I finished "Le Crime d'Orcival" on Thursday, and it leaves me with a high respect for Gaboriau.

I had a good long stroll yesterday to think about Journals as a genre within writing. Presumably this 'public' Journal is intended for others to read, and perhaps with an eye to publication at some future date. How reliable will it be as a mirror of my life and world? Writers have of course invented Journals. What about playing with a real Journal by purposeful editing or elaboration? That might be amusing!

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