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

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Monday, 31 March 2014

No form

Monday, March 31st., Cadogan Square, London.

I met George Moore last night at a Phoenix performance. 

Starting out as the Insurance Orchestra, the London Phoenix Orchestra was founded in 1924 by Harold Rawlinson to provide members of the insurance industry with an opportunity to meet regularly and enjoy playing music together. This fundamental enthusiasm for music and friendly ethos remains at the heart of the orchestra's purpose to this day. While the orchestra may have grown and changed over the years, we are proud to retain strong links to the insurance industry and provide its many workers with the chance to further their love of music.

He said he wanted me to go and dine with him and he would tell me about "Riceyman Steps" - a lot of things that I didn't know (he said). Then he told me. he said it was the only really objective novel ever written, and very original. (I knew from others that he thought very highly of it.) He said, "It has no form whatever, no form. It is not very carefully written - it is adequately written. It has no romantic quality. yet it holds you. A bookseller crosses the road to get married - that's all. It is disturbing to think that hundreds (he should have said millions) lead their lives just like that. the book is the FACT (he emphasised the word several times) and that's all." Then he repeated about great originality, lack of form etc. ... Considering that in my opinion it is very well constructed ...!

For more on George Moore see 'A man of opinion'

Additionally for March 31st., see ' A Garden City'

I went round with Vallee last night to see some of his patients. One was at Champagne - what is called a Cite Jardin, built for the employees of the Creusot Steel Company. The population must certainly be over a thousand, and is probably much more. We arrived when it was nearly dark. Vast blocks of houses four or five stories high, of dark stone, and fearfully ugly and forbidding. Aplace here and there, and plenty of vacant plots. It was extraordinary how a four-or-five-storied block struck one as being out of place in the country, where land is plentiful. The houses were a cheap imitation of Paris houses. No lights on the stairs, no nights in the streets, but windows lighted here and there, giving hints of mean interiors.

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