“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





26 September 2012


[ L X X V I ]


Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To newfound methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:

For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.

William Shakespeare
(ca 1595)

For asking, rather triumphantly, a teacher whether this meant Billy Shakespaw was on drugs, the young Whitey got thrown out of an English class at high school. By Mrs Moriarty, not Miss Mizing, who would have enjoyed the impertinence. This was not one of the sonnets we were meant to be studying.  So it was with some glee he discovered, nearly fifty years later, when they dug around the old Stratford cellar and grounds, that the Bard probably did partake. Could this be a pertinent lesson for those of us who struggle to find new wine descriptors, dressing old words new when most wines are ever the same? Selah.

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