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Bunburying

June 22, 2007

I’m on holiday, which means more pictures and fewer words, for the time being.  A holiday maker ought not to be too great a gobshite, really.

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So I’ll just say that I’m in Salcombe, having been kindly invited back here by dear old friends.  Michael Parkinson and Kate Bush have homes in the area, you know.  And Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “Crossing The Bar” somewhere round here, too.

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Besides, at the moment I am a perfect Bunburyist.  Bunburyism, introduced by Wilde in The Importance of Being Earnest, is an activity devised by the play’s heroic rake Algernon.  He has an imaginary relative named Bunbury who is usually taken ill, or in a scrape.  Bunbury exists as a ready-made reason to excuse Algernon from social or familial obligations, so that he can spend more time holidaying, being frivolous, getting into scrapes of his own.  Committed Bunburyism allows the most playful forms of dandyism to flourish.  Bunburyism is a serious game.

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To put it this way: Bunburying is the use of social gamesmanship in order to pursue  affected provincialism–to be distracted, without distraction!

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It does to take Bunburying seriously.  Here I am trying out my Bunburying outfits.  A uniform tends to put one in the right frame of mind for being silly:

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It makes good sense to Bunbury by the sea, because Bunburyism is nothing if not a means of remaining fluid;

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