Monday, August 27, 2007

Chatwin's Room

[To Francis Steegmuller and Shirley Hazzard]

March 21st 1980

Dear Francis,

You can certainly borrow, not rent the above, but I feel I must warn you of the drawbacks. It is not a flat, in the English sense of the term, but a one-room garconniere such as one might find in the Cinquieme. My tastes are also rather Spartan. It has a kind of kitchen, a minuscule shower and basin, but the lavatory is out on the landing. It has a painted Directoire bed, 3ft 6in wide--and definitely for Francis: sharing with anyone not recommended. It has a smaller, also Directoire, steel lit-de-camp, which can be made into a bed, though it serves as a sofa. In this Shirley would have to sleep. I have, on occasions, and found it small but possible.

Otherwise, there are a Jacob chair, a Regence chair, a table, a telephone, the King of Hawaii's bedsheet with a design of fishes (framed), a Siense cross, and a Mogul miniature.

You will feel very cramped.
[Bruce Chatwin]

-from With Chatwin: Portrait of a Writer by Susanna Clapp ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997) p. 14.

No comments: