Tuesday, January 03, 2006

someone else's diary

Whose? Why, Alan Bennett's. It's 22 May 2005.

'Reading Frank Kermode's review of John Haffenden's life of Empson makes me regret a little that Empson was cut out of The History Boys. In the first version of the play Hector sings the praises of Sheffield where he had been taught by Empson, then recounts to the boys wanting to go to Cambridge the circumstances of Empson's downfall at Magdalene. 'So when you say Cambridge University to me, I say to you "A prophylactic in the wardrobe"' - this last delivered like a war-cry. Empson was not the only casualty in the play. Simone Weil got the boot, as did Nina Simone and Simone Signoret, Jowett (of Balliol fame), James Agate, Jane Austen, Molly Bloom, Hegel and Henry James, all of them biting the distinguished dust.'

(from the LRB)

No comments: