‘…all against the grave and tragic rhythm of the earth in its most timeless phase: the sea.’ William Faulkner
Authors tend to get serious when they portray the world’s oceans. They address the sea in reverent tones. It’s a mood inspired, at least in part, by the sea’s inhuman ancientness. The ocean reveals the brevity of humanity’s time on earth; that we’re just one of many short-lived species that primordially flopped out from its depths onto land. Yet perversely, while looking out to sea thinking of death, people have also marked it as a fine place to holiday. In light of this month’s vacation-orientated ‘Out of the Office’ theme, here are 4 great works on the sea:
As part of our music-themed month on the blog, we’ve been asking our authors to talk us through four songs that have in some way shaped their writing. In this second post in our ‘4 Tracks’ series, Philip Hoare writes of a youth hewn by music, and the elemental nature of song.
‘Write Here’ takes us into our authors’ writing spaces across the globe, where they tell us about how they go about their craft. We mark each location on the map at the bottom of each post. Today’s edition takes us to a beach house in Cape Cod, where Philip Hoare writes in the comfort of his bed…
Earlier this week a family of otters ransacked my garden. I only know this because they left behind an inordinate amount of dung, mostly in the porch, making my house look like the target of an over-enthusiastic hate mailer. The Suffolk locals tell me not to worry. Read more…
Pen or computer? (Material)
Starting in a notebook or scraps of paper, gradually accumulating to ever-expanding screeds on my laptop…
Sitting or standing? (Pose)
… which is pulled over my bed, where I write.
Morning or evening? (Time)
From five am onwards… never in the afternoon or evening