Notes from an Outpost

Kenneth White

I am just back at my home in Brittany after a week’s moving round Britain doing talks and readings on the occasion of my return to English-language publishing after twenty years’ absence. Before going further into this return, which I do not see as any kind of ‘come-back’, but as a new departure, maybe I should lay out the reasons for that long absence and silence in the English-language field. My first books came out in London (from Cape) in 1966: Letters from Gourgounel (prose) and The Cold Wind of Dawn (poems). A year after the reviews appeared, I had left Britain, and entered into a nine years’ silence (full of work) in the Pyrenees. If my third manuscript had just got through (a book of poems, The Most Difficult Area, no doubt considered as fringe-work, came out in 1968), my fourth, a prose book, even more difficult to classify than the Letters, had met up with a lot of resistance.

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