November 17th, 2011 admin

As the planning debate continues between various political parties, here are a couple of quotes from Geoff Dyer’s book Working the Room: Essays and Reviews: 1999-2010:

“Lawrence’s vision of England going to the dogs rings true today precisely because neither he nor anyone else was able to do anyting to prevent it. Lawrence realised that the colossal ugliness of industrialisation owas being succeeded by a different kind of blight: the spread of ‘red bricked semi-detached villas in new streets’. This had only just got under way but Lawrence saw it as evidence of the way ‘one England blots out another’.” Dyer on D.H Lawrence

Philip Larkin laments in ‘Going, Going‘ (1972) that the hole country will be ‘bricked-in’:

“And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There’ll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.”

“Lawrence’s and Larkin’s worst fears have been miserably realised. Contemporary England may seem far removed from the hideous industrialised Victorian image of Dickens’ Coketown, but what might be termed a ‘Swindonisation’ has taken place whereby every town looks exactly like every other. A journey through the vast bulk of England is now a journey through the almost unrelieved ugliness of post-industrial homotgenisation.” Geoff Dyer.

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