Monday, June 21, 2010

Mere Pseud...

(photo of the original pseud, opened to entry of 21 June 1982)

Typing this at speed, but just wanted to say how much I've been enjoying Mere Pseud..., a blog with a very original conceit. It's presented as the teenage diary of Yorkshire-born Paul Martindale, from Monday, June 8th, 1980 onwards (and so far up to June 20th, 1982). Each entry of the original diary is being posted in chronological order exactly 28 years on to the day. Not quite clear whether this is an actual record of an actual life or an elaborate serialized hauntological fiction. Either way it makes for addictive reading. In fact in its attention to school and schoolwork it reads a bit like Jonathan Coe's The Rotter's Club, which I mean very much as a complement. Each entry records the mundane particulars of Paul's life in early-80s England -- agonizing over exams, listening to records and watching TV when he should be agonizing over exams, arguing with his father, working at Tesco, etc. It's all there before you, suspended in amber: the Falklands, first impressions about films and records (including, surprisingly, obscurities like David Rudkin's "Artemis 81" and "Distortions" by quasi-library outfit Blue Phantom), melancholy reflections on family, friends, drinking, kisses, entomology, English weather, etc. The portrait that emerges is of a very thoughtful, articulate young man in a time of fateful change, both personal and dare I say political? Check it out, and make sure to start from the beginning...


  1. Just noticed that my blog is listed under Further Pseudery - the darn cheek of it!

  2. No offence intended!! I love your blog!!

  3. Many thanks, yours ain't that bad either!