Search This Blog

Monday, 16 January 2017

On Wodehouse


I sat with fingers poised over iPad, waiting to write whatever was next to come into my head. I suppose that if there were an obvious criticism of Herbert Quarry’s writing advice it was that you had to wait for something to come into your head before you could write about it. I read that PG Wodehouse never started writing a book until he’d got the entire story thought through, with a few hundred pages of detailed notes. I wouldn’t go quite as far as to call that cheating, but you’ve got to admit that it’s hardly cricket. When PG got to Chapter Forty there was no desperate crisis of inspiration for him- he just looked up what was in his hundreds of pages of notes and transcribed it into the manuscript. It’s hardly writing at all when you look at it that way. No wonder he never really got anywhere.

Where was I? Oh yes- fingers poised over iPad…

CP Violations in Literature


I received by post this morning a charming letter from a young lady named Sasha, a resident of a notable central Washington address (for the next few days, at least). I have learned in my physics class, she writes, that charge parity violations might account for the marked preponderance of matter over anti-matter in the observable universe. Might  an analogous process, she asks, account for the preponderance of heroes over antiheroes in literature?
Indeed, I wrote on the very subject some years ago (see Sushing ED, Annal der Litereinschrifts,  Vol X11 Pages 213-409, July 1983). Any ex nihilo model of the emergence of literature must account for the imbalance of heroes to anti-heroes, and more generally novels to anti-novels. The proposals I submitted at Hay-on Wye in 2008 have been largely (and some would say wilfully) misunderstood by a too-conservative literary community. However, Vidal and others graciously acknowledged the validity of my ideas, which may be readily appreciated by anyone with a sufficiently open mind. Without considering the more complicated nuances of my argument, we may simply observe that dichotomous cognate meaning operates reflexively in any non-Brechtian verb-space. It follows- saper sunter- that the iterative operation of the reflexion through ablate normative perturbations will necessarily reduce objectivism, hence the asymmetry. Quite why such a simple theory has failed to penetrate the minds of the so-called literary academics, I will leave you to decide, but the words ‘stony ground’ spring to mind.
Do I speak bitterly? Perhaps- but can you blame me?

The Civil Wrights Movement


You find me this morning in a nostalgic mood, one prompted by news from the Whitehouse that the simple mansion in which I was raised is to be made a US National Monument.
The announcement honours my role as the progenitor of the US civil wrights movement which transformed the conduct of skilled manual workers in the 1950s.  Few now can remember first-hand the days in which my movement was formed, days in which it was not possible to walk from one end of a craft-village to the other without the cussing of curmudgeonly wrights bringing a wine-hued blush to one's cheek.
Upon its launch the movement was greeted by characteristically impolite catcalls from the artisan community, but I was undaunted. March after march, impassioned speech after impassioned speech, I laboured for a cause I knew to be wright, sorry, right.
Hitting new oratorical heights with my ‘I have a dream’ address in Bettysburg- an address that had old and young alike in tears at my vision of a manufactory world free of incivilities-  I stood foursquare against the combined enmities of a nation’s artificers, braving all to ensure that one day we would be…

(… is wheeled away by nurses.)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Creative Writing- What Next?


The term 'creative writing' was coined in 1963, so in my view it is high time we had something fresh to replace it as a focus for post-modern literary development. What about its logical complement, 'destructive writing'? How might one establish a school of destructive writing? What would be the tenets of such an abstract body? Would it suffice for work to be uncreative or would it have to destroy established literary ideas to qualify as 'destructive'? Would destructive writing have a finite scope, ending when all literary ideas had been destroyed? Or could the movement evolve and progress beyond the literary vacuum into the realm of anti-writing and the production of anti-novels?

These questions, and others, I must leave a puzzled literary world to resolve, as I need to lock-up the chickens for the night before the fox gets them.