25 February 2012

Shagged to Buggery

Philip Larkin in a letter to his friend Jim Sutton, quoted in Andrew Motion's Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life (London: Faber & Faber, 1993), p. 186:
My great trouble, as usual, is that I lack desires. Life is to know what you want, and to get it. But I don't feel I desire anything. I am unconvinced of the worth of literature. I don't want money or position. I find it easier to abstain from women than sustain the trouble of them and the creakings of my own monastic personality. In fact I feel as if the growing shoots of my character -- though they must be more than shoots by now -- had turned in on each other and were mutually neutralizing each other. Or that I had been 'doctored' in some way and my central core dripped on with acid. Shagged to buggery, that's what I be.