Day 28

5.02: My way of doing things isn’t so weird. All in all, my story’s going to make a pretty soft landing when it finally plummets from the cramped rickety treehouse of my brain through the rotten carport roof of its creation, and onto the black Tarmaced driveway of existence. (The creative process as childhood in a suburban semi, metaphor spotters).

I am positively conventional. I work to a routine, like an office clerk or a Teasmaid. But maybe I’m not doing my story any favours by being so Sergeant-Majorish about this getting up and getting on thing. There’s a mischievous voice in my head telling me perhaps now’s the time to flick productivity the Vs and do something that will make this novel a historical event. A sports car, a waterslide, and a coach-party of prostitutes would probably fit the bill.

Funnily enough, that voice, when it speaks, is the beyond-the-grave Yorkshire brogue of Steven Wells, who gave this approving account of the much harder birth of one of modern literature’s most enduring tales:

“Fucking hell! Robert Louis Stevenson’s wife burnt the first draft of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde because she thought it was shit. So the nutter hammered it all out again from scratch in 72 hours while off his fucking skull on medicinal cocaine. THAT’S Attack! It’s about dumbing UP! More is More! Screaming tabloid headlines, Stalinist aesthetics, situationist rhetoric, twisted morality, an ultra-modernist social-surrealist agenda, chip shops on both shoulders—who needs “character development” and “plot” when you’ve got a manifesto, a hit-list and a billion drugfucked chimps hammering away 24/7 on stained and battered Macs?”

And I want to attack too; I really do. But I’m just too institutionalised and bourgeois to get it right. I just caught myself debating whether my first step as a disciple of the Wells-Stevenson credo should be to take a wife or to drug a chimp.

Now I could do with a lie down, only it’d play merry hell with my schedule.

6.53: Quis custodis ipsos custodiem? (who watches the watchmen?) Muntazer al-Zaidi might have muttered philosophically to himself yesterday, as the shoe-hurling Bush baiter found himself on the receiving end of a spot of loafer slinging. It’s worth pointing out that by assailing Bush in Iraq, al-Zaidi took a slightly more courageous stand than his own Paris-based pot-shotter, who won’t spend nine months in prison and receive beatings for his troubles.

Not an especially hefty return of words this morning, but a nice little scene, even so, in which an eternally romantic gent carries his ladyfriend’s cello for her. Wells must be gyrating in the grave.

~ by David Thorley on December 2, 2009.

2 Responses to “Day 28”

  1. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”, surely.

  2. Yes. Probably. Thank god you were here.

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