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This report is taken from PN Review 257, Volume 47 Number 3, January - February 2021.

Marianne Moore Buys Some Bananas John Clegg
I work for a small bookshop on Bury Place, in the centre of London near the British Museum. From our front window you look down an alley called Gilbert Place. Two shops to the North is Bury Food and Wine, a former greengrocers where on 8 July 1911 Marianne Moore bought some bananas, ‘fine fruit – the best we have had’, she wrote. (‘It has on all the bags, I notice, “only canary bananas sold at this establishment.”’) You can still buy bananas there today; I bought a bunch for Marianne Moore’s sake this morning. She bought her own walking back with her mother from the British Museum underground station. This station on the Central London Railway, precursor to the Central Line, is now defunct, and roughly above its old location stands Swedenborg House, the headquarters of the Emanuel Swedenborg Society, founded to print and publish his works, a remit they have interpreted broadly. A couple of years ago, I walked round to collect some copies of a Homero Aridjis title for the bookshop; the gent on the desk led me down two flights of stairs into the deep cellar where they store the long­unsold print runs of Swedenborg, and invited me to press my ear to the curved brickwork; I heard after a while a train rush past, and that was the edge of the old British Museum Station.

Moore and her mother, during the month they spent in London on their first tour of Europe, regularly took this line. On the 8th they were returning from Hampton Court; ...


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