The Calligrapher by Edward Docx

The Calligrapher

Edward Docx

Donne's ironic, passionate, sometimes bitter love lyrics mirror Jasper's life in modern London: one long (successful) pursuit of women. Jasper, the calligrapher, is transcribing Donne's Songs & Sonnets in a hand called Batarde (itself a comment on his behaviour). Though he cheerfully admits his perfidy and serial infidelity, his self-love remains essentially intact until ... but I won't give away the ending.

Extract

At the very last, though, I think it was John Donne who seduced her. To him at least must go the credit for that final, irrevocable strike. Disregarding the trifling hindrance of the four hundred intervening years, he put aside his hungry restless mind and won her at his first attempt with the easy charm and skill of a genuine master.
I was moving fast, it's true. In another ten minutes, in the bedroom, no doubt, I would have beaten him to it. But he was always ahead of me: the great professional showing how it's done.





Parallels
  • The Locust Room by John Burnside
  • Poems by John Donne
  • The Best a Man can Get by John O'Farrell
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Violence
Explicit sexual content