Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A moral query and a small milestone

Talking to my neighbour Andy about the Battle of Britain I found he was a WW2 planes nut. As I am. He lent me treasured books on the subject, saying I’d be astonished by their prices. - two cost 15 shillings each, £0.75 these days. But it was their narrow-margin pages and occasionally indistinct pix that evoked those distant days; even in 1961 publishers were mean with paper. I’ve raised this subject before. Is it legitimate to idolise engines of destruction? Andy says if you lived through the war as a child (I did, he didn’t), fearing oblivion and buoyed up by very clever British propaganda perhaps it’s understandable if not forgivable.

Did you know what was the fastest piston-engine plane ever produced in the UK? The Supermarine Spiteful, of course.

ENDLICH Following Plutarch’s Homeric 1700-word final assessment the novel, Gorgon Times, is finished. It is possibly an unpopular story, but I wanted to tell it and I enjoyed every moment, even the endless revisions. The greatest pleasure came from details, even page-long scenes, which popped up unforeseen as if there were some delightful conspiracy between my conscious and subconscious mind. It is the best novel I’ve written which doesn’t of course mean it’s any good. Plutarch has been very kind (“driven as much by sentiment as moral sense” which made me proud) and others, presently reading the MS, may give me a hint or two.

One strange experience. Revising it for the nty-nth time I came upon a deliberately emotional scene near the end and my throat tightened – BB the author manipulating BB the reader! Jilly Cooper, not one of my touchstone authors, says the same thing happened to her. I should add she was reading her most recent novel, not mine.