V. S. Pritchett: Wizard of the Lower Middle

Michael Gorra reviews V. S. Pritchett: A Working Life by Jeremy Treglown, in the New York Times Book Review:

Pritchett184“A Working Life” — the subtitle is exact. Even in his 80’s, the English writer V. S. Pritchett (1900-97) would ”go fast up the four flights of steep stairs to my study . . . every day of the week, at 9 o’clock in the morning.” He would light his pipe, put a pastry board across the arms of his chair and begin to roll out the words of a review or a story. The hours until lunch would seem but ”a few minutes.” There were more words before dinner, and sometimes after it too, and every now and then he would ”go on writing in my sleep, in English mostly but often, out of vanity, in Spanish.” It was all done by hand with paper and pen, his part of it anyway. His wife, Dorothy, typed up the work of the day before, making a clean copy for him to cover with an ”ant’s colony of corrections.”

More here.