Sunday, February 12, 2012

Morris West biography

Went down a couple of hours ago and bought the Morris West biography. They had it in stock at Readings. Read the section about starting ARP in December 1945 until things fell apart, in a number of ways, in the early 1950s for West.

Am awakening to a few things. Firstly, here was a man with a family - real people, not just a story. And including those who are still here.

Secondly, this is a particular slice of life, preceded by others and followed by others still. Actually, 'slice' is a good word. It's only ever one thin representation of the whole, as detailed as it is thin. Thinking here of the human body in the Melbourne Museum, sliced through and on display.

And this particular slice, as I've been reading in the bio, is not one West was particularly keen on displaying, or revisiting at all. They were troubled times, especially towards the end when his marriage fell apart, he had a breakdown and he reinvented himself as a poor writer after having been a successful Toorak-dwelling media entrepreneur.

In some ways my find might be more of a Return from the Dead than a gift from the heavens.

I recognise some of the people, and references to trips and incidents. Wow.

But what now is my responsibility to those people, their people, and West's others?

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