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book cover of On Trying to Keep Still

On Trying to Keep Still

A novel by

"Recently I retired to my estates, determined to devote myself as far as I could to spending what little life I have left quietly and privately; it seemed to me then that the greatest favour I could do for my mind was to leave it in total idleness..."

Michel de Montaigne

Jenny Diski's attempt to keep still and mentally idle resulted in a year in which she travelled to New Zealand, spent two months almost alone in a cottage in the country and visited the Sámi people of Lapland. Montaigne was alarmed to discover that by staying still his mind 'bolted off like a runaway horse'; Diski, failing to keep still, finds much the same problem and like Montaigne keeps a record of her ramblings both mental and physical hoping as he did in time to make her mind ashamed of itself. Interspersed with ill-tempered descriptions of these trips are digressions on the subject of her sore foot; her childhood desire for 'a condition', thoughts about growing older, spiders, fundamentalism and the problems of keeping warm.


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Used availability for Jenny Diski's On Trying to Keep Still

Hardback Editions

April 2006 : USA Hardback

Title: On Trying to Keep Still
Author(s): Jenny Diski
ISBN: 0-316-72525-0 / 978-0-316-72525-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Time Warner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

March 2007 : UK Paperback

Title: On Trying To Keep Still
Author(s): Jenny Diski
ISBN: 1-84408-016-1 / 978-1-84408-016-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Virago
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA