The bifurcator biffed

Faithful followers of this blog know that since last September I have been dogged by the rival claims of writing the blog and finishing the biography. The methods of each are so different that at times it’s felt schizophrenic — my brain bifurcated between different forms of showing and of time (‘chronotopia’). (New followers should look at 12 September and 8 December 2014, 4 March, 30 March, 7 April, 30 April 2015.)

On 6 February I announced I had finished and revised the last chapter of George’s life. This extends from 1 January 1914 to 4 June 1915. So in February 2015 my writing of the biography was four months ahead of the ‘real time’ blog. Since the remaining two chapters of the book, covering Kittie’s life without George 1915-1950, had to be no longer than 5000 words together, I was pretty confident in February that I would surge forward, get years and years ahead of the blog, and finish the biography well before 4 June 2015.

Oh dear…  Although I have deepened my knowledge of Kittie’s life 1915-22 to the extent that I have over two hundred documented events from that period and could sit down and write that chapter (15: Aftermath and Masterpiece) in three days, the interference of the ‘other biography’, i.e. this day-by-day blog, is such that I am wary of attempting it. What I described on 8 December 2014 as ‘a disaster for the book’ — not being able to engage with the ‘traditional’ biography until the blog was finished on 31 July — now looms.

But it’s hardly surprising, given that I need and want to blog every day until 4 June and for some time beyond. This is the emotional imperative…and it takes up a lot of a biographer’s time. One has, of course, one’s (emotional) priorities.

With the commemoration of the centenary of George Calderon’s death approaching, that naturally takes the upper hand. The most I can hope for, I feel, is that I shall find time after 4 June 1915/2015 to research Kittie’s life 1922-50 in sufficient depth to complete the last two chapters (1915-22, 1923-50) quickly. It would be a devoutly wished coup to complete the biography proper (i.e. minus the Introduction (‘Who is George Calderon?’), Afterword (‘Who Was George Calderon?’), Acknowledgements, Bibliography and what-not), before this blog itself closes down and becomes a website on 31 July 2015.

I shall, in Eliot’s words, ‘concentrate my attention with careful subtlety to this end’.

Meanwhile, I have to say that the experience of writing the ‘second biography’, i.e. this day-by-day blog of George’s life July 1914-June 1915, has led to my revising — tightening up — the ‘first biography’, i.e. chapter 14 of my life of George Calderon, completed in February. That’s something!

Next entry: De-appling

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
This entry was posted in George Calderon, Personal Commentary, Timeline and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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