It does seem to be one of his go-to suits, but it seems a bit odd to me to be wearing a linen suit for travel. It wrinkles so badly! 🤷🏻♀️
I am going to assume it is because linen is so sustainable and comfy when hot. I mean, that is why I wear it, besides liking to look like I slept in my clothes and rolled out of bed! Nevermind that my hair literally looks like purple Bozo the clown hair when I roll out of bed. I am totally a fanshionista!
mmmmm. Crunchy, crunchy linen (my favorite yarns are wool-linen blends).
May is the merriest month, and there are few more cheering journeys than a train ride into the green wilds of Sussex, in southern England. And no destination is more peaceable than Charleston, the secluded house, wreathed with gardens, that found fame as a rural HQ of the Bloomsbury Group. Now a place of pilgrimage, it continues to summon writers and artists, with audiences to match. Here it was, for a festival in May, that the culture-hungry came. Drifting in their dozens past fruit trees and congregations of flowers, they entered a large tent, where the trappings of Bloomsbury-scented comfort were on sale: straw hats, cushions, padded Alice bands, and vials of Sussex Rose Aromatic Water for the soothing of high or fevered brows. We took our seats for the arrival, on a raised dais, of Benedict Cumberbatch. He it was whom the pilgrims had travelled to see, and this is what he had to say:
April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.
There was more, and worse. “White bodies naked on the low damp ground / And bones cast in a little low dry garret.” And this: “Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit.” And again: “In this decayed hole among the mountains / In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing / Over the tumbled graves.” What had we done, in the sun-warmed paradise of Charleston, to deserve all these mountains, bones, and teeth? So much death, on a day that promised such life!
Cumberbatch was, needless to say, reading T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” which will shortly celebrate its hundredth birthday. The occasion was a rare one, because the recitation was entwined with music: a score composed in the nineteen-seventies by the novelist Anthony Burgess, no less, to accompany the poem. Cumberbatch, keyed up by the piano and the other instruments arrayed behind him, took the lines at quite a tilt, slipping between accents like a quick-change artist donning pants and hats, and thus reminded us how funny this bitter poem can be. Eliot’s sense of humor, whether savage, lugubrious, or droll, never lay far below the surface, and, as we honor the centenary of his most celebrated work, it’s worth bearing in mind his responses to a questionnaire that was sent out to a batch of poets, in July, 1922. “Do you think that poetry is a necessity to modern man?” Eliot: “No.” “What in modern life is the particular function of poetry as distinguished from other kinds of literature?” Eliot: “Takes up less space.”
Cumberbatch’s contribution was one of a host of events that are being held in 2022, to mark the centenary and, one hopes, to probe the tenacity with which “The Waste Land,” far from wilting, has taken root and spread…