Books: Snakecharmers in Texas |
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Snakecharmers in Texas

Essays 1980–87

Terence Kilmartin

A partir d'un certain âge nos souvenirs sont tellement entre-croisés les uns sur les autres que la chose à laquelle on pense, le livre qu’on lit, n’a presque plus d’importance. On a mis de soi-même partout, tout est fécond, tout est dangereux, et on peut faire d’aussi preécieuses, découvertes que dans les Pensées de Pascal dans unerRéclame pour un savon.

— Marcel Proust, Albertine disparue

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

— Louis MacNeice, ‘Snow’

A Jonathan Cape hardback in 1988, Snakecharmers in Texas became a Picador paperback in 1989. The title caused endless trouble in the bookshops, which were no longer keeping all the Picadors in the same spinner, but distributing them all over the shop according to classification. Thus it was that this book turned up, if it turned up at all, in shelves devoted to travel in the USA, or the customs of the Orient. For what an author's opinion of his work is worth, I think this is the book that best represents what I could actually do at a time of my life when I was under the impression that I could do everything at once and still stay out of hospital.