Word count: 18,040
Recommended word count: 11,669
Proposed word count: 20,000
Didn’t do any writing yesterday. Feel sort of anxious about that despite still being ahead of target. I think I would feel better if I had managed to get a seat on the train this morning and power through but that didn’t happen and now I’m two-strapping for no purpose at all.
Yesterday I was asked in my interview how long 50,000 words is and I compared it to works by Huxley and Orwell. I don’t think that’s what they were expecting.
Last night I went to see the Civil Wars with Kate. Oh wait, something before that. Last night I saw the On The Road scroll. For anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of that, in April 1951 Jack Kerouac wrote a novel. He did so in twenty-one days on telegraph paper, taped together and fed into his typewriter. This one hundred and twenty foot document was eventually released (in 1957) and Kerouac shot to fame as the father of a generation that he had grown apart from.
The scroll itself has changed hands/ownership many times since then and was on hire by the estate of Jan Kerouac, Jack’s only heir. A couple of years ago I saw a documentary on Kerouac and as far as I was concerned the scroll was in the ownership of some millionaire (American) football coach. I assumed I would never see it. To gaze upon it last night was to see the road, spread under glass to be examined, dog-eared and torn and fantastic. I don’t know if it would be the same for everyone but it is worth visiting.
After our trip to the British Library we went to The Diner in Camden. I had the Reuben, a pastrami sandwich on rye with sauer kraut and horseradish. Kate had a chilli burger. It felt fitting following the scroll.
Then onto the Roundhouse for the show. We were too late to see Fossil Collective who opened but The Lumineers were excellent. A five piece new-folk (God/Dylan, please forgive that) group whose track Hey Ho you may be familiar with if you own a television because it is currently on hand in a Nikon advert.
The Civil Wars took to the stage as humbly as they did prior to the fuss, hype and Grammys and without a word went into the opening track of their set. You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone was absolutely still. This remained the case for most of their set. Despite having to watch sections of songs through iPhone screens it was incredible. The vocal range and control that both parties hold is something I don’t believe I’ve heard live elsewhere. The venue was perfect and the crowd were well behaved and we all stopped to take a minute and appreciate the skill on display and how those songs had touched each of us.
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