The Importance of Elsewhere: Philip Larkin's Photographs, by Richard Bradford
The most widely read British poet of the twentieth century, Philip Larkin was also a keen amateur photographer and through his life he made images of the people, places and things that meant most to him.
The Importance of Elsewhere gathers the best of Larkin's photographic work, divided into short thematic chapters arranged in chronological order.
The book shows how Larkin, as an individual, as a writer and indeed as a photographer, developed an acute sensitivity to all aspects of the world around him, from his love of open uninhabited landscapes and empty churches to his mixed feelings about crowds. There are also fascinating portraits of those people who were closest to Larkin, including his lovers, his mother and his literary peers.
The Importance of Elsewhere beautifully reproduces more than 200 images from the Larkin archive at Hull and a substantial foreword by Mark Haworth-Booth explores what it meant to be a serious amateur photographer of Larkin's generation.
Together with Larkin's literary works and his letters, these images make up the third, so far unseen, constituent of the material upon which our future perceptions of him will be based.
“Larkin's photographs not only illustrate his poems - they explain and deepen them...superlative, succinct and subtle biographical commentary” - The Times
“A beautifully produced book ... the photographs display the full range of his poetic sensibility, from the melancholic to the comical” - The New Yorker