Gill is one of my top-ten all time favourite writers...its not an exaggeration to say that I only get the Sunday Times to read his columns...and of course Jeremy Clarkson.
One of the most satisfying things about words is their black-and-whiteness, the neat, austere simplicity of their process. Letters on a page are so direct, so literal. The connection between writer and reader is intimate, personal and immediate: a moment of thought held, suspended, in a few marks, then reinvigorated. It has remained the same since cuneiform was pressed into wet clay with a reed. Words on a page have no backstage, no sleight of hand, nowhere to hide the workings. Words are what they say they are. You read a sentence and you can see how it was made; you can trace the thought.
Poetry is the cornerstone of civilisation
8 march 2009