Cherry-Garrard: the cleanest way of having a bad time ever devised

Here’s Wikipedia, crediting the Dadaists onto Burroughs:

Here’s Burroughs himself, crediting himself and citing Johnny von Neumann of all people:

And here’s a quote from George Seaver, writing about his friend Apsley Cherry-Garrard (describing when he was starting “the worst journey in the world”, about 1919):

“Cherry’s method of writing was peculiar to himself. He did not write consecutively in pages, but in separate paragraphs dealing with such matters as came to mind; these he then pieced together in appropriate sequence. His writing has thus sometimes a certain abruptness which sharpens interest.”

BTW Cherry was friends with (TE) Lawrence – and 7 pillars reads in that same “abruptness that sharpens interest” way, an almost atonal way, as well. (Although ultimately I find Cherry much more readable, and more gripping). I speculate that L experimented with this early cut-up method as well.

Radio 4 is serialising BS Johnson’s “the Unfortunates” at the moment: everyone who downloads it gets a different playing order.

(The post title refers to Cherry-Garrard’s own description of polar exploration).

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