Robert Dessaix: As I Was Saying

Reviewed by
March 2012, no. 339

Robert Dessaix: As I Was Saying

Reviewed by
March 2012, no. 339

Grand illusion

Jane Goodall

 

AS I WAS SAYING: A COLLECTION OF MUSINGS
by Robert Dessaix
Vintage, $27.95 pb, 224 pp, 9781742753072

 

‘I’m sitting in my tower, cogitating.’ Well, Dessaix admits, it’s not a real tower, though he likes to think of it that way. Actually, it is an elevated writing room in his house in Hobart, with a view of the mountains to the west. He is cogitating, not meditating – he’s particular about this – and the thoughts he proceeds to capture on the page are those of a mind given to rambling. As he sits there, the train of thought moves off to connect him with other writers in other towers, widely distant in place and time: Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst in Kent, Michel de Montaigne in rural France, W.B. Yeats in County Galway, Rainer Maria Rilke at the Château de Muzot in Switzerland.

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