However I have a commonplace book, kept sporadically between '76 and '89. One of its entries is a list of all the babies at work, that I updated every three months for six years. I took it from the shelf to check. Very very few of the names from 81 to 83 have any memories attached to them, and none were relatable to the children in the picture. So much for that. And then I started flipping through other entries- books read, diary jottings, extracts from plays, poems. Fantoddy in the extreme, especially the ones dating to '78, a year I've managed to delete almost completely from memory. My '78 book list says I read The Courtier: I have no memory of doing so, and when I read it three years ago none of it was even remotely familiar. But there was that family tree of the Montefeltre and Estes pencilled in by me on the endpapers, so... I must have? But- Silas Marner? The House of the Seven Gables? The Sherwood Ring? I didn't. I never. Yes, I recall other books in that list, but those? I *know* I never read them.
However, I did make a list of Downers:
Angst is a word too commonly used, and anyway it cognates with anguish, an emotion too definite for the (inner curdling, weariness, shrinking, cafard- sorry, boredom to death- oh shitness, Bell Jar syndrome, curl up and die) caused by the following:
Standing in line for tickets
Corn beef (boiled, with grease blobs on the scummy water)
Anais Nin's diaries
Old kitchen linoleum
Lilacs on warm evenings
The smell of hot tar
The Unquiet Grave
The light cast by an unshaded lightbulb yellow with dust and city grease
I may have changed my mind about the lilacs, but not about Connolly and Lawrence- all of Lawrence. Don't know why I confined it to one book.