Explanatory Guidance Notesguidance notes

I personally am not that interested in expressing life as a whole, or giving vent to some philosophy of the whole thing - since I’m less sure of that than ever, and more sure that a total autobiography in my case would be pure public relations: the formulation of a totality I might like my children and friends to believe, but which I just don’t feel.

Just for myself, I’m interested in the mystery of how - in the diverse bits and parts which have made up my life - each has a certain meaningfulness. That can’t be summed up, nor readily distilled, but I have tried to catch the half-realised tenuousness like one of the those dream catchers the New Agers have in their windows. Dr Jung, do they really HAVE to integrate, to make mandala? Mine don’t. Concluding in a revelatory disaster: one Balliol era?

For example,  take two other episodes of my life - on losing one marriage and gorgeous young possibilities, and then finding another and new youth in a new age altogether. Writing, for me, both subtler and more truthful because there the recollection (not memory) is indeed what I have been left living with. And each ‘medium’ quietly alters what I seem to say ….

I realise that I shall never know what my whole life means. If others do, of themselves or poor old me, that’s great, and I make no judgment. I know I am ignorant of that sort of totalistic knowing. I don’t have a past. I have an altering cluttered house of stuff which I and especially my family are now drawing upon.

Is’nt that justification enough of the sprawl, the winding labyrinth? No, choose what you like. There is no single Minotaur.