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The Library of Babel

A Spin-off of http://bookwormshead.blogspot.co.uk

Ripley Bogle - Robert McLiam Wilson According to the third chapter of the pop pamphlet "Word gets around" written and sung by Kelly Jones, there is "More Life in a Tramps Vest". This is an interesting point of view. This is a gross approximation. I suppose that Mr Jones was just trying to find a nice title and instead of exposing his theory he carved a refrain.

A tramp's life is certainly something that most of us never wrote in a resume. Indeed, as the Northern Irish atypical tramp Ripley Bogle sets straight in this book, for being a good tramp you need a long list of requirements that are all but easy to gain. In no regular job you may apply for the experience qualification will ever be that important and fundamental.

Sure, this is a period in which streets, pavements, benches and embankments of our towns are getting full of aspiring junior and even senior tramp officers. This spontaneous and unexpected wave of tramp applications is the gift of munificent subprime crisis boosted up by exciting new economy ventures.
But these people who are reluctantly going to explore the joys of a starry blanket in wintertime have to be warned: it's still a long and winding road from homeless to tramp. And not everybody gets corrupted as
in a.d. 1989 London, poor highly educated Ripley Bogle wasn't.

Too young for having the necessary tramp experience, too sensitive, too respectably dressed, too melancholic and accurate in reminiscing his unfortunate past, Ripley was wandering around the half hyperactive / half sleepy metropolis wondering about his juvenile love and making a breakfast and a lunch out of a coffee and a couple of Benson & Hedges.

Nowadays the down and outs in a town like London are probably changed quite a lot. More competition. Less chivalry. Different cigarettes. And a cup of coffee a day is not that affordable anymore. But still, a character like Ripley Bogle may find his own quiet road and warmed up bench dreaming to be a new Orwell or a new Dickens, perhaps being hired as a guide for an East End vagrancy by Jack London himself.