Thursday, 28 July 2011

Boris reads Markson

Walking down the escalator this morning at Shepherd’s Bush tube station, I overheard the words ‘beautiful woman’ and ‘Shepherd’s Bush’, turned, and there was Boris Johnson with a couple of aides. Down on the platform I cursed myself for not having a copy of Days and Nights in W12 with me – and today there’s a new review of that on John Self’s Asylum – but I did have a box of Marksons and another of Nurkses, which I was taking over to Hackney Wick. I pressed a copy of This Is Not a Novel upon Boris. He asked me if I was Markson; I told him that Markson died last year. We travelled on, he engrossed in Markson, me in my book (James Salter, since you ask). At Chancery Lane he got off. As he fumbled with his backpack and his bike helmet, another man began talking with him – some other nutter, some other book.

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