I have never at any point in my life been very aware of my own social standing, and even now I am often surprised afresh when some event, or something someone may say, reminds me of the rather high esteem in which I am held. Just the other evening for instance I was down in our old pleasure district…
‘I remember looking around me with approval that first night, and today, for all the changes which have transformed the world around it, Mrs Kawakamu's remains as pleasing as ever.’
Ian Jack, Remembered
‘Ian was a gifted journalist and editor of immense common sense, and had an insatiable curiosity about the world around him. We will miss him.’
Editor of Granta, Sigrid Rausing, remembers Ian Jack.
The Stinky Ocean
‘It was a peculiar, alopecic landscape of hummocks and gullies, with patches of grass growing on what looked like white earth, and rarely a soul to be seen.’
Ian Jack on the slag heaps of Glasgow, and the aristocratic lives built on them.
Those Who Felt Differently
‘Could grief for one woman have caused all this? We were told so.’
Ian Jack in 1997 on the death of Diana.
The Best Picture He Ever Saw
‘Always and everywhere, this unequal struggle to preserve and remember.’
Ian Jack recalls the missing buildings of his hometown, Farnworth.
The 12.10 To Leeds
‘Outside wars and nuclear accidents, it is hard to think of any technological failure which has had such lasting and widespread effects.’
Ian Jack on the Hatfield train crash, from Granta 73.