John Elliott (1938 - 2017)

On Thursday I received news that John Elliott, author of Human Pages and other works, passed away earlier in the week.

Yesterday, in the manner of one of the characters from his works, I took Human Pages from my bookshelf, opened it at random and put my finger on the page. The passage was as follows:

"Exhausted, she fell back on the pillow. Agnes's hand rested on hers. Its weight was almost too much to bear, yet she took comfort from the knowledge that his name had been on both their lips.

"From then on the die was cast, cast forever. Some other hand Sula could not see had spilled the dice free from their shaker. Patiently, she waited for their roll to cease. Hands, she thought, hands that once might have been folded in prayer. A deck of cards fanned out before her on the green baize of the bedclothes. Surely, they must realise she lacked the power or concentration to pick them up; especially when the dice still rolled and rolled."

The dice are still rolling, and I cannot hope to write an adequate tribute here, but I do hope to write one in time, at least more adequate than this blog post.

In the meantime, I am posting here a link to an interview I did with John almost six years ago, recorded and made available again by Joe Campbell, to whom many thanks. Please feel free to download it:

Human Pages is already in the list I have been slowly compiling of my top one hundred books:

Finally, a story by Anton Chekhov that seems to me appropriate:

Human Pages
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Published on June 25, 2017 05:16 Tags: human-pages, john-elliott
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