Tuesday 8 May 2007

A View of One's Own

I shan't lie to you: this isn't quite the view I'm getting at the moment. It's nearly midnight, and very dark outside - but I took this photograph a few days ago. One of the downsides of this room in college was that it faced a wall - a fair bit of distance between us, but hardly a botanical garden. "Great," thought I, "nothing to look at there then." Well, as the good people of 3191, and Cornflower, so often show (in a far superior manner) - often the mundance can be beautiful and fascinating. When I looked out of my window and saw this, I realised my wall wasn't as dull as I thought.

Where am I heading with this? Views, that's where. More specifically, the views which are directly ahead of you as you blog - I don't know what many of the blogging community look like, but neither do I know their surroundings. Mine are open to the public, which makes them rather less secretive, but I've always been fascinat
ed by what people are looking at when they write. Moreso for authors, novelists - we can pick up a Penguin Classics edition of, say, Austen, but the text becomes so divorced from her writing experiences - it wasn't until I got to visit her house in Hampshire that I felt I could grasp the process slightly. I could see where she sat, which door she looked at, to hide her papers if she noticed an approach. The village green out of the window. The little lane - probably various siblings and local children dotted over it now and again.

Is this fanciful? Well, probably - but it does make a difference to me. Was the author glancing up to see countryside, or did they have a view of a road? A wall? No view at all? Amazing how little of this comes across in the final voice, but how important it must be in the creating process. It gives some depth to reading a novel, I think, but it is disappointing when I discover that such-and-such writer spent the entire writing period stuck in a bedsit, or even the suburbs. Noble places, I'm sure, but how much more wonderful is Wordsworth's house? Hardy's?

How about the bloggers out there? What do you see? A window, or a door, or do you just take your laptop wherever there's space? Now you know what I look at while I type. I wonder if it changed your opinion of the blog at all...

Now to today's sketch.





  1. Actually that's a quite nice view really--those circular windows and the shadow of the tree falling against the building! As walls go--it is anything but mundane really. My view is not so nice--but I will take a picture in the next few days and post it. My desk is terribly messy--can I clean it up before taking a picture? Considering how particular I am in other aspects of my life...my desk is pretty atrocious!

  2. That's such a great shadow feature - everchanging. I've not figured out how to post photos yet, but I really should, although I frequently suffer from Danielle's messy desk syndrome too! And as to the cartoon - not vain: the mirror allows for seeing who's entering the room behind you!

  3. OOh I am no longer anonymous (see "minihaul"), decided to join the C21 and see what this blog thing was all about! The view as I blog has temporarily been blocked out as it is over a very wet and overgrown garden. The normal view from my desk is a shelf with favourite books, trinkets given by family and friends and one of those stands with observations and thoughts from famous people. Not sure it helps with essay inspiration, sometimes I still just sit and stare!


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