Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Other Letters from Iceland

From the other Letters from Iceland (1936):
You’d like Thorgný & she’s a first-rate cook—hurrah so you’ll get a rest from that next July—for one month at least. She’s got neuralgia now poor soul—like Maisie’s but is going to have electric treatment in Copenhagen on her way to Finland. Impossible here of course—no electric light. Then—who should turn up (I saw his rucksack first) but—Auden, the Oxford poet! He wrote “The Dog beneath the Skin” “Dance of Death” & other things besides poems. And he’s producing a book on Iceland! (After two months or so & not knowing the language but that’s the way to do it—either at once or—at long last. It’ll be amusing I expect and critical but I wonder if they’ll like it. Though they’re self critical & like it when foreigners
slate ’em sometimes. Well—I made his bed for him & showed him in after we’d had a walk up into the mist together. He has a German emigrée wife, daughter of Thomas Mann the writer who’s now exiled in Switzerland. I like him. He’s taught English and is to do W.E.A. work at Manchester this coming winter but is meditating stopping at
Egilsstöðum instead. I somehow don’t think he will. He’s roamed about a good bit—Portugal, Rumania, Greece. We played rummy till midnight he & Astrid & Fru Blöndal & I. This morning I continued patching—he’s writing (borrowed paper from me) & Astrid is weaving. Windy but sun out & mist clearing away to-day, hurrah. There’ll be more raking to-morrow I expect praps even to-day. I told Auden how I was doing Iceland. He’s going round Langjökul with a group of four plus guides & tents in August—horseback.
(pp. 26-27)

See also in this blog: Letters from Iceland

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