Saturday 11 April 2020

Passages from Deborah Levy's lockdown diaries

To read anything by Deborah Levy is always a deep pleasure that leaves me with a sense of belonging. Here are some snippets from her lockdown diaries published in the Guardian

"I am trying to keep cheerful for both my daughters – the oldest lives away from home. Yet they both tell me they are nervous by how eerily calm I am about becoming ill with Covid-19. It seems, they say, that I have accepted the possibility that I will die, and they would prefer it if I freaked out more. After all, temporary morgues are being built around the country. Later, when I Google a recipe for shortbread with my younger daughter, the words that come up at the top of the search are “short of breath”."

"The opera singer downstairs is practising an aria. Colleagues who teach are having to do so online. Zoom seems to be the technology of choice; their students are now scattered all over the world, so they have to agree on a time zone that works for everyone. I hear from friends in Paris that a baby racoon is sleeping on their fire escape."

"The stereotype that we are a reserved nation who don’t very much like to touch each other seems to have blown out the window. Social distancing feels like unlearning every muscle memory in my body."

"We will have to investigate the magic of the universe from home."

"I have seen the best minds of my generation lost to Netflix."

"Spent the day watching Tiger King on Netflix. Nothing will tear me away from Joe Exotic and his big cats."

"“Flattening the curve” is now a familiar everyday phrase. It goes to show that you don’t have to have a PhD in art history to understand an abstract image."

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