The Vault

Over many years, keeping a record and searching for ways to write were central features of my life. I wrote journals, diaries, on writing pads, notebooks and once while working in a cigarette factory on cartons and the backs of packets. There are diary entries, spoiled and abandoned novels, poems and doggerel, schemes and stratagems, short stories and lots of faux philosophy. Nothing was thrown away. Everything found its way into a chest. What they are now, what they contain is a mystery, unknown territory, perhaps worthless, perhaps of interest, certainly a record of sorts.

The notebooks and journals are stored in a chest and remain unread, until now. I’m approaching 75 years of age, entering the ‘sweet spot’ decade during which it’s likely I will leave this life. Inshallah. The notebooks contain an autodidact’s attempt to educate himself, a writer’s first steps towards a voice, and mostly, I imagine, the blind blunderings of a sleepwalker.

They must be dealt with; they cannot be left behind for Audrey to wade through. I have created this website to record the process of digging through the years, the levels, the pages and volumes to see if it’s worth recording their contents. I cannot promise to finish the job; it may prove to be a worthless, redundant, exercise.

I estimate there are writings from the early 1970s, perhaps even further back, through to recent times. At one stage in the 1980s I stopped keeping a journal in order to give all my inner life to a therapy. If Yates were to ask, I picked perfection of the life, rather than the work. Further notebooks are a mixture of business diaries and literary logs.

Yes, I’m curious. Of course I am. It may be a fool’s venture, a quixotic tilt at the shibboleths of the past. I pay respects to those who’ve gone down similar roads, especially Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac, a rowdy and suitably disreputable bunch with whom I spent many pleasant hours a long time ago.

So that’s it, until excavations begin in March 2022.

For the first results from the diggings: May 2022. Click here

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