Notes On Attention Paid

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The Journals of Denton Welch

… yes, titled posts when i am reading and writing about a book or an article… it makes sense then…

… this passage:

When you long with all your heart for someone to love you, madness grows there that shakes all sense from the trees and the water and the earth. And nothing lives for you, except the long deep bitter want. And this is what everyone feels from birth to death.1

… i suppose he is really thinking about unrequited love… my experience of love that is in any way returned, is that it is sweet, not bitter, even loves that can’t be consummated…

… DW’s torment over Eric…

And we had prawns and lettuce hearts and partridge eggs, and macaroni, and plum flan and peppermint cream and coffee and apple juice.2

… what a curious menu…

… on the sixth of June, he notes “that the invasion had begun on Northern France”3… the war doesn’t figure much in the journals even though they are written entirely within the war… i am trying to imagine living in Europe during WW II, keeping this journal, and saying very little about it… did he really pay so little attention to such a consequential unfolding of history?… was he really that self involved?… even this mention of the invasion is one made in passing…

… and now it seems the Northern France invasion has made ignoring the war all but impossible…

 I thought it was strange to sit with elderly ladies in such a clean, such a Tudorized house with radiators and frigidaires, while the most unspeakable atrocities were happening in mass is only 100 miles away at least.4


  1. Welch, Denton, The Diaries of Denton Welch, p 145 [return]
  2. Ibid, pp 150-151 [return]
  3. Ibid, p 150 [return]
  4. Ibid, p 151 [return]