Wrestliana – Jemmy Dover

There were some things I didn’t expect to be able to find out, whilst researching Wrestliana. For example, in the ‘Preliminary Observations’ at the beginning of his novel Henry and Mary, William Litt says – I have observed real dates and facts, which prevented me from complying with the desire of several friends, who wished me to introduce […]

Wrestliana Doings

As some of you may have been directed here by the Galley Beggar newsletter, here’s some info about the forthcoming Wrestliana and wrestling-related events. I don’t usually post this kind of thing, but it would be great if you were able to come along and say hello: 7th June 2018, 7.30pm – Wrestliana launch at Cakes […]

Wrestliana – Touchline Philosophy

TOUCHLINE PHILOSOPHY The touchline, or its prehistoric equivalent, is what makes us human. I have thought about this a great deal, but am still worried that it’s the kind of anthropological speculation that has no force. Anyway, here it comes. There have been many suggestions as to what, if anything, makes humans different to animals. […]

Junot Díaz – ‘My Full Account of Cruelties Towards People’

Last year, I gave a lecture on ‘Success!!!’ and how to cope with it. I quoted Junot Díaz extensively, and approvingly. (I also used some words from him as the epigraph of my non-fiction book, Wrestliana: ‘You wrestle with your family your entire life.’) In the midst of the dismaying, appalling accusations against him, I […]

Wrestliana – ‘Journeys’ Which Aren’t

  ‘Where does the journey look…?’ – W.H.Auden, ‘The Voyage’ ‘It’s been such a journey.’ We hear a nauseating amount about journeys – almost as much as we hear about stories. ‘My journey’ – every television documentary must, of necessity, be ‘a personal journey in search of…’ Because if it isn’t, it will just be […]

Wrestliana – William’s Lake Walk

WILLIAM’S LAKE WALK In 1824, William Litt wrote an account of his attendance at the Windermere Regatta. It was published in the local paper, the Cumberland Pacquet. I think it’s probably his best piece of writing, outside his book Wrestliana. Although I tried, I couldn’t find anywhere to include it – or even mention it […]