"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
For more information about the books of Nicholas Murray
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Monday, 8 October 2007

The Limits of Writing

In the age of the celebrity author (the knowing coolness and self-satisfaction of the Famous Writer wheeled out in the book supplements to deliver another opinion on the world) it is refreshing sometimes to come across writers who acknowledge the limits of what one author can achieve. Proust famously compared himself to a flea and one of my favourite authors Georges Perec in his Esp├Ęces d'espaces (translated in Penguin by John Sturrock as Species of Spaces) had the following observation: "To write: to try meticulously to retain something; to cause something to survive; to wrest a few precise scraps from the void as it grows; to leave somewhere a furrow, a trace, a mark, or a few signs."

I'd settle for that.

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