Thursday, 12 March 2009


See here for another take on the Guardian’s ‘Writers’ Rooms’ series, which (as I’ve mentioned somewhere here before) seems pointless to me: they’re just rooms, no different from those in which most people fill in tax forms or check the football scores. Or not so much pointless as beside the point, which is what a writer writes, and which these photos of soft furnishings tell me zero about. Likewise those author biogs which tell me the writer has worked as a window cleaner and has two pet armadillos. They give out two messages – these writers are just like the rest of us, they have legs and arms and like comfy chairs; this comfy chair is special because the writer sits in it, so keep off – which cancel each other out, yielding the perfect hollow page-filler with a soupcon of literary interest.

I don’t think I’m being high-minded here. About writers whose work interests me I do like gossip and anecdotes, apocryphal or not, and I like memoirs (not biographies, but that’s another story). I like rooms too. Last night I really should not have ordered that final bottle and this morning the room above, photographed by Roni Horn, who happens have an exhibition on at present at Tate Modern, fits my mood perfectly.