‘Great poets do not die; they are continuing presences’
Dr Jim Stewart is a continuing and steadfast poetic presence with me, both as friend and esteemed colleague in Woolf studies. He is very much present in the Cambridge University Press Edition of Woolf’s works, as superb textual collator, highly skilled proof reader, and most erudite annotator and critic. To be in his company in the presence of Woolf’s words was always a cherished pleasure and truly an education. His was a rare combination of talents indeed—scholar, poet and printer’s devil.
Jim is a continuing presence on my editorial journey to Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, a journey permanently lit up not least by the happiest of times we passed together one afternoon in Glasgow reading aloud in all its complex variants this work’s great centre-piece, ‘Time Passes’:
Whatever else may perish and disappear, what lies here is steadfast. Here one might say to those sliding lights, those fumbling airs that breathe and bend over the bed itself, here you can neither touch nor destroy.
© Jane Goldman