It is with great sadness we report the death of Al Alvarez, poet, novelist and critic, author of The Savage God and, most recently, of Pond Life published in 2013. Below you can find an excerpt from his interview with Granta Magazine.
AA: It’s good to know cormorants are close by, isn’t it? And yes, nature absolutely is a source of replenishment. I don’t know what I would have done without it. I live in Hampstead so nature is only just down the road. The place is full of interesting people too and there’s a lot going on outside my door. The characters I spend my time with down at the pond are a great source of life and stories too.
Is it fair to say, as you suggest in the journal, that the freezing baths you were forced to take at boarding school gave you a taste for cold water?
Yes, at Oundle I rather liked taking cold baths, even though in those days they did something rather unexpected, which was to run them the night before to let them cool down even more. And this was in midwinter as well as the summer. And always the windows were open. I don’t know how we survived it, but we did! When my wife Anne and I went back, about seven or eight years ago, it was kind of like going to a luxury hotel.
Click here to read more on the Granta Magazine website.