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Wigtown Booktown Ghosttown

01/06/2006

We were in Wigtown a week past Saturday. Came away with a nice wee haul of second-hand books, including John Berryman‘s Collected Poems 1937-1971 (doesn’t include the Dream Songs, which I really want to get my teeth into at some point) and Octavio Paz‘s bilingual Collected Poems 1957-1987 edited by the translator and wonderful essayist Eliot Weinberger.

Wigtown, I have to say, felt rather dead. Maybe everyone was just away at Hay, but it wasn’t necessarily due to a lack of people even though there appeared to be no bustle about the place; it seemed like something deeper. Interestingly, Whithorn, which has a similar proportion of boarded-up buildings and had a similar number of people on the streets, didn’t share the aura of malaise. Maybe it’s because Wigtown is so blatantly branded and Whithorn is more just itself.

Still, it’s a beautiful and fascinating part of the country and I’m pleased with me books.

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