Arrived in Antarctica

30/11/2009 by Christopher Buxton

I am feeling the brisk slap of a minus 40 degree blizzard this morning – and all from the comfort of my Colchester back room where I sit tapping the keys and watch the relentless Essex rain.

Chris Dobrowolski, artist in residence in Antarctica, has sent me a picture of my book with ice floes in the background. I feel absurdly honoured. For a writer, seeing one’s book in such an unlikely place is like a sudden vision of Bishop Berkely’s tree.

If you remember, Berkely was obsessed with the problem of perception and existence. If an object’s existence depended on its being seen, how could we be sure that a tree existed in the middle of an unpeopled desert?

The answer is of course that it is perceived by God – or in the case of my book by Chris Dobrowolski.

My only regret is that there are no penguins.