Out of clutter, find simplicity.

Said Einstein. And Wendell Berry said, ‘“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”


Yes, New Year. A sort of resolution. Clear out the clutter in my study. Actually, first clear out Peter’s clutter in my study (once his) so I have more room for my own clutter…

In doing so, I came across all my university files and very, VERY nearly threw them onto the bonfire of the vanities.

But not quite.

I just couldn’t bring myself do it. Let me see, these are now forty years old or thereabouts. When am I ever going to need an essay entitled ‘Which novel seems the more prurient in attitude to sexual love, Moll Flanders or Clarissa?’ or ‘Pope’s ability to convey feeling in verse,’ or some notes on Plato’s Republic, named,  by me, ‘Ever Such A Jolly Brief Summary.’ (Plainly, I’ve hardly matured at all!)

These files are indubitably clutter but they represent three of the happiest most carefree years of my life, spent at the University of Liverpool (English and Philosophy, Joint Hons.)

I started reading the comments after the essays. Anything to avoid my self-imposed clutter-ridding exercise…



This, about William Faulkner, was from my absolute heroine, American Studies tutor, Hermione Lee. I’m blushing with unseemly pride.

But…oh look, B Minus Minus (How on earth is that extra minus designated?) on Tamburlaine… apparently I write ‘fluently – too fluently, one feels’? Hee hee hee! Whoever this tutor was…not a heroine, obviously.


And lookie here! The cover of my D.H. Lawrence notebook…those EEEEEEEs in creep are unmistakably Peter’s writing. No-one writes an E like Peter does. Thanks, Peter. Supportive even then!


So how can I throw all  this away?

It would be like throwing away myself.

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