Wednesday, October 03, 2007

James Farrar

To return to an old theme of mine - the hidden riches of suburbia - I discovered the other day that my particular neck thereof (which I prefer to describe as the Earthly Paradise, in the hope of pushing up property prices) had harboured a writer of whose existence I knew nothing. His old home had quite forgotten him, despite the fact that no one ever wrote better about the marginal countryside hereabouts. Now the local memory has been stirred by a reading, which I attended last night,and a small exhibition. He was a writer of huge promise - at his best, perhaps, when trying least hard - and seemed capable of great things. When he died he was some months short of his 21st birthday (like another World War II poet, Sidney Keyes). Even with the accelerated growing-up that goes with fighting a war, that is very young. His mentor and champion was his English teacher, the splendidly named Alwyn 'Trubby' Trubshaw, who lived to the age of 99 - a year longer than my own English teacher and mentor, whose funeral is, as it happens, tomorrow.

6 comments:

  1. I'm ashamed to admit that I got to the end of that before I realised you weren't talking about the guy who played Klinger in MASH.

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  2. Now Dick, you know perfectly well that was Jamie Farr.

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  3. Another lovely post, Nige. Trubby and your mentor were themselves "survivors of a lost world" until they finally passed out of it.

    Remember Thomas Jefferson after his mother's house burned down and with it his library: "What was lost cannot be recovered, but let us save what remains."

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  4. Yes Susan, those words of Jefferson's say it all.

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