A Record Diary
Ian Smith [+]
Writer, Broadcaster and Musician
An account of Larkin’s jazz writing in his adult years. The chapter examines Larkin’s jazz criticism in context: what brought it about? How did it differ from the selective version given by Larkin in All What Jazz? An interesting parallel is between Larkin’s jazz reviews and those of Eric Hobsbawm; a point of comparison that extends into the British culture wars of the postwar years. Larkin’s own subtitle for All What Jazz was “a record diary”. In the biographical study of any writer, it often becomes clear that critical writing is inseparable from autobiographical reflection and self-scrutiny, both personal and creative.