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

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Plus ca change

Tuesday, March 16th., Cadogan Square, London.

Looking this afternoon and evening through window of backroom 2nd floor 21a Sloane Street. The whole of the old garden or backyard space between Sloane Street and Pavilion Road is built over with annexes to houses, low, chiefly covered with lead, and probably workshops or additional offices. There is no open ground at all, so that the houses apparently might as well be 'back to back' houses. This of course does away with all the nocturnal noises which occur in back gardens in central London. (All back gardens will I supposes ultimately be built over in central London) From the aforesaid window you see the backs of low (2-storey) houses in Pavilion Road, chiefly artisan-working places and small shops and garages. Rising over them, beyond, a bit of terra-cotta Harrods. You only hear a faint murmur of occasional garage noises and of the distant traffic in Brompton Road (at least I suppose it's that). This, even with the windpw open. But in the front room the thunder of traffic is nearly continuous even on Sunday. However, you get used even to that. 'Musicians' play in Sloane Street, and near 21a, practically all day weekdays. They interfere with work. The procedure for getting rid of them is thus: You ask them to go away. If they refuse you ask a policeman to tell them. If they refuse the policeman also you summon them. And (according to a police inspector's testimony) the chances are then 12 to 1 that the summons is dismissed. The Sloane Street musician is of course the result of Sloane Street shoppers' (largely women) generosity to itinerant beggars in the form of bad musicians.

Additionally for March 16th., see 'Critic as artist'

I have read Oscar Wilde's "Intentions", and found it really very good, better than "De Profundis". As someone who sees himself as both an original writer and a critic, the idea of 'critic as artist' appeals strongly to me. Wilde is too severe on 'realism', reflecting his own thoroughly Romantic character and style.

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