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was twenty-one. She calls Sullivan ‘Johnpat’; you can hear the inverted commas. She has tan skin and wears cotton overall-type outfits. The glasses are rimless polygonic. No statement of opinion by anyone else passes unchallenged; even her agreement can be prefaced by denial. The nose is neat but prehensile; she is a sniffer out, not least of ungranted favours. J. is about to go to Oxford, as a fellow of Wolfson, to write his Martial book. With much research in prospect, he intends to go alone. At a loose end for three months, Judy proposes, more Americano, to spend them with friends. She asked why we lived so far from stations or airports. Beetle told her that it avoided uncalled-for visitors. I was hoping to hear that, after a lacuna since the breach with Tony, Anne B. had consoled herself with some willowy William from the Foreign Office, or indeed the milkman, or anyone at all. She remains inconsolable; or at least unconsoled. The Sullivans refuse to take sides; indifference is all their kindness. Judy’s failure to arrive on time at Bordeaux (her train was nine hours late from Portugal) did excite some conjugal anxiety – John called to ask ‘sapete alcuna cosa di Judy?’ – but their modus vivendi is void of sentimental niceties. Judy so dislikes domesticity that they play a hand of poker to determine who will do the washing up. Every two weeks a gang of men arrives to ‘deep-clean’ the house. Do scholars regularly make reference to ancillary texts which they have not fully scanned? Is the composition of fibliographies a common practice? When I informed G. Steiner that I could Xerox and send him the Greek text of Ritsos’ Ismene, of which he could find no translation, he preferred that I synopsise its ‘argument’. J.P.S. told us that Kenneth Dover, in his original introduction to Greek Homosexuality (1978), referred to having been buggered by Maurice Bowra. Harvard U.P. was scandalised and insisted that the confession be deleted. John’s friend Brad, a huge ex-football star, dropped some LSD and took a walk. He was held up by two muggers who demanded ‘all your money, now!’ Dwelling on the demand for immediate delivery of all his money, he itemised the difficulties in the way of instant compliance: most of his cash was in the bank; he would have to go get his chequebook; his house was jointly owned with someone who was out of the country; it would take a while to put it up for sale and realise the money; his belongings would need some time to sell, etcetera. The protracted literal-mindedness

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