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

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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Feeling poorly

Thursday, June 2nd., Villa des Nefliers, Fontainebleau.

I was in bed all day on Tuesday with a migraine; it sounds nicer than bilious attack. All due to eating a fricot on Monday night. This almost made me resolve to take nothing but bread and milk in the evenings. I should mind these disturbances less if the resulting headache did not make it practically impossible for me to read. I awoke at 2 a.m. and after then scarcely dozed. I just passed my time in disgust waiting for the posts in the hope that something interesting might arrive by one of them. Nothing did. 6.30, 9.15, and 2.30. But I got up at 5.30 and made some tea.

Up till noon I still hoped, in spite of millions of experiences, that I might be able to work in the afternoon. I glanced through all the newspapers, and made my head worse just as it was easing. I took nothing but milkless tea until the evening, and then a morsel of arrowroot. To starve and to lie flat - this is my only treatment. By 7 p.m. I could read a little without making myself worse, and I began my new Stendhal "L'Abbesse de Castro". It opens slowly and finely. The intrigue is exactly the same, in essence, as that of the "Chartreuse" and of "Le Rouge et le Noir". Did he ever think of anything else except capturing the affection of women under the most difficult conceivable circumstances?
See also, 'Living for today?' - April 3rd. http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/living-for-today.html

I began to work after tea yesterday, and wrote 1,400 words of the first chapter of the last book of the eternal "Clayhanger". This morning (after supper of bread and milk) I arose in fine health at 5.30. I made tea and read a lot of my manual of tree-drawing that I bought a year ago and have scarcely looked at. And then I finished the first chapter of "Clayhanger" at 8.45, having written about 1,600 words in two and three quarter hours. My day's work was thus done before breakfast.

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