Friday, 11 July 2014

On Dai Vaughan

Dai Vaughan was described by Neal Ascherson as "one of the most imperiously intelligent fiction-writers alive."  He died, alas, in 2012, but the imperious intelligence is undimmed and I'm finally catching up with his writing as I'm drafting his entry for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Vaughan was a brilliant and distinguished film editor and wrote what is, in my view, the single best book about cinema: Portrait of an Invisible Man: the life of Stewart McCallister, Film Editor. McCallister's greatest achievement is Listen to Britain, a solid documentary masterpiece directed in 1942 by Humphrey Jennings, which we should all watch again and again, starting now. It's twenty minutes of unadulterated genius.

He was also a poet and novelist. A small independent publisher, CB editions, publishes a volume of Vaughan poems and a fine, unclassifiable novel, Sister of the Artist

Here's a moving tribute,  complete with many Vaughan quotations.

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