I once met E.M. Forster

IMG_1569Found among the papers of the mathematician Norman Routledge (1928-2013) this affectionate memoir of E.M. Forster. Routledge  had known Forster in the 1950s when he was a Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge. He went on to become a distinguished  teacher of mathematics and was a close friend of Alan Turing, inheriting some of his books. The second half of his working  life was spent teaching maths at Eton. These notes were probably for a talk he gave to the boys there (mid 1960s) with a sound recording of Forster talking (probably this piece from YouTube) and some reading from his books. The notes are written on the back of the maths  homework of one Hope-Jones minor…

I wish I was going to tell you about a great hero- figure, spouting brilliant and amusing things, and combining an amazing literary  fertility (an earth-shaking novel every year) with great and noble deeds -what should they be? – fighting injustice and involved in passionate love affairs? But he is none of these.

He happens to have lived since the war in the college, Kings, where I was an undergraduate, and so one would occasionally meet him on social occasions. He’s rather non-descript in appearance – has a moustache and rather dowdy clothes and speaks very little but listens a lot. Very gentle eyes. Is greatly loved by all who know him– has indeed the air of always having been loved without having had to strive for it. Can be very amusing if he wishes, but you have to listen carefully– I’ve seen people quite fail to notice that he has been making fun of them. Continue reading

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Interview with Robin Cook aka Derek Raymond

Found - loosely inserted in a copy of his novel A State of Denmark this typescript of an interview with Robin Cook aka Derek Raymond. At one point he says he is 60 which dates it at 1991. It does not appear to have been published. Many of the typos have been cleared up. It was probably transcribed from a tape recorded in a noisy pub with a break in a Chinese restaurant and back to the pub. Robin Cook, cult novelist and author of The Crust on Its Uppers was also known as Derek Raymond. He had to change his name as it was the same as the best selling author of schlock medical thrillers (Coma etc.,).

Dead man upright. Chap still walking around who really oughtnt to be.
Bit like your nameless policeman.
Yea, lots of policemmen like that esp the busted ones. All driving minicabs. What can you do after being a bent policeman? and you know London well what can you do next/
Dont do research with police. Had lunch once . Id rather do it from imagination. Better relations with French police. How to beat people up with a telephone book.
Known a lot of busted ones in my time, disciplinary reasons, sex casess, bisexual ones.
Back in West Hampstead. Been there a year until I finish the book.
Memoirs out next month
BBC series. Kenneth Trodd. Scriptwriter is a man called William Golding. The man in charge is Kenneth Trodd. First met him years agao back in 1962 when he wanted to make a film of Crust on its Uppers, used to have endless talks. He did singing tec with Dennis Potter. So its in as good hands as it could be. Three 50min episodes, they will draw on all 4 books.
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