Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Vale Elaine Sinclair

Elaine was very social, very vivacious, always smiling -- her whole life Vale Elaine Sinclair Elaine loved people and attracted many friends with her positive attitude and constant smile. She was a magnet. She was a social butterfly... Decades of service at the parliamentary library circa 1972 - 2006

Lots of colleagues came to pay respect to Elaine from Dr cope, to TP ... The absence of Greig and David remains a mystery to most ... 

“To me, since death is the most important thing about life (because it puts an end to life and extinguishes further hope of restitution or recompense, as well as any more experience), so the expression of death & the effects of death are the highest planes of literature.” 
So writes Philip Larkin to his girlfriend Monica Jones on Nov. 8, 1952. Larkin was thirty years old and author of two novels and a collection of poems. He would live another thirty-three years and his best work lay ahead. The therapeutically minded might diagnose depression. Some of us think of Sir Thomas Browne and Emily Dickinson. Not to write of death, to carry on as though it were an unpleasant rumor, unsubstantiated, better left unexamined, suggests callowness, an absence of fortitude. 

“I can’t imagine how people can say `no use worrying about it, it’s inevitable.’ That’s exactly why I worry.” 

That’s Larkin to Jones again, on Feb. 19, 1955. To another friend, Winifred Arnott, he writes on June 7, 1977: 

“I get less used to the fact of death as I grow older, & I was never very used to it.” 

Larkin, eight years before his death, published “Aubade” in the Times Literary Supplement on Dec. 23, 1977. It’s his last indisputably great poem, one that makes admirers and detractors alike uncomfortable. All the quotes above from Larkin’s letters, and many more, can be found in the notes to “Aubade” in The Complete Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), edited by Archie Burnett.