See the sparks in the dark
Feel the fear in the air
The faerie raid is getting near"
The following story, possibly apocryphal, was related to us by our friend Charles over dinner at a curry house in Clapham Junction a couple of nights ago. (Charles is of half South African descent; but, then again, his South African half is of English descent, so it doesn't make a lot of difference, except to his range of passports.) We had been discussing flight upgrades. Anyway, the story:
Shortly after the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa, an elderly white woman was seated next to a black man in the cabin of a flight out of Jo'burg. She summoned a cabin crew member and primly and firmly declared that, "I couldn't possibly sit next to this man." The crew member heard her out seriously, then said, "I'll see what can be done." She left for the front of the plane, then came back a moment later. She said, "I'm pleased to have found that there is a seat available in first class." The elderly woman smiled. The crew member turned to the black man: "Now, if you'll just follow me, sir . . ."
It's one of those stories that's true whether it happened or not.
This is what a pub crawl composed entirely of Santas looks like.
At Sara's Christmas party, a colleague of hers came up and button-holed me and said he had read the first book (The Manuscript if you've forgotten), and was really keen to discuss it, and he ended up enthusing about how, at the end, when the party finds Burton's carved words left in a tree trunk in South America, how, Wow, the final use of this ultimately low-tech and timeless and indestructible medium of communication to contrast, and transmit over time, versus the ultimately ephemeral and eyeblink and fallible communication of the Internet that dominates most of the book, and how the low-tech method came through, and what a cool commentary on time and tide and the gallop of technology, and wow.
And I said Wow, too, emphatically, because none of that had ever remotely occurred to me before. (And, as you'll recall, I wrote it.) In fact, this carving in the tree bit was only added in the last phase of editing, to replace this really naff and fantastical ending where the protagonists actually meet the lost tribe, and but my editor saved me from that, and yet I still needed something to indicate that it was all real, and the carving in the tree was what I came up with. And I hadn't consciously thought of any of that cool symbolism stuff. But, nonetheless, it appeared to be there (at least for one reader).
And so it would seem all this post-structuralism bollocks, as regards author intentionality, gets everyone in the end.
I lie down with dogs.
I lie down with d***s.
And so late last year I was interviewed by a really nice bloke for Poets & Writers Magazine, and now here's that article appearing (should you care about such things as poetry and writing; or be a poet or writer yourself; or want to read me nattering on). This guy, the interviewer, belongs to a private club for media types in Soho, which I then got to go to. He says he got tired of interviewing people in Starbucks.
"I got somethin' real special for you, girl."