The Professor, Vilém Mrštík: cloak, battered silk hat, consumptive, tin of small white pills (says he takes them for his cough), stick with a silver skull, book with soft leather covers under his arm in which (I looked) a collection of erotic art, limps. Pal of OLL. You’d know him if you saw him. Czech. Taught us German. Lots of brains. English so-so. I took on the Repton Gazette and he was the man. He’s spit. The Type-Setter’s polish. I’m stories: first two: ‘is Repton different?’ and ‘is he up to much?’
Here’s the Professor: “I do not claim to understand art, I do not claim to say what art is, or to distinguish between art and nature in, let us say, a garden. The spiritual uplift, the transcendence that is said to accompany the contemplation of great art. that is denied me. As to whether Humphry Repton was a great artist, or a greater artist than Capability Brown, that I cannot presently divine.
In respect of your first question, might we not sift the landscapes attributed to Repton for features that characterise the different phases of his career, and see if we cannot sieve out some themes that consistently recur and hence mark out his work from that of others.”
Oofy here: Editorial: Repton’s red books. Red herrings more like. Point is. What use are they for the places where they don’t exist? I did a clever thing.
Passed the Professor this question from Mrs V.B of Newport, Isle of Wight: ‘Norris Castle? What did Repton have to do with it?’ Happens the Type-Setter already has a file. Inches thick. Everyone’s happy.