How many notebooks, journals or letters have been swept away by circumstance, carrying the minutiae of memory with them? Leigh Fermor used his to reconstruct his travels in his books and he clearly never got over this loss. Elsewhere he mentions a journal having been lost and then found by some impossibly circuitous route, to his great relief.

‘The loss of the journal still aches now and then like an old wound in bad weather.’

For other writers on their notebooks, see Lawrence Durrell, David Esterly and Thoreau.

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts: On foot to Constantinople: from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (London: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 110

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