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Showing posts from October, 2015

Books I singularly failed to write 1: The Oulipian novel.

I alluded to this before, so to prove that for one sunlit second I wasn't actually talking out of my arse..

In the sunlit days of the turn of the millennium a young man was mulling over the idea of doing an MA in Creative Writing. That’s the sort of thing people did back then. Everyone told this young man what a talent he was, and how he was going places, he believed them, he had no reason not to.

As he mulled, and mulled some more (though fairly certain that it was a done deal, and that said MA was naturally the gateway to bigger and better things, a large advance for a novel before his second year was out seemed probable, might have to wait a few years before he landed one of the bigger prizes) he wandered down a library corridor and, entirely by chance pulled down a book, large letters down the spine named it “OULIPO COMPENDIEUM”.

Dear reader, that young man was me. And that tortuous opening, and my usage of the address “Dear reader” may have (correctly) informed the more ast…

I'm not liking that.

I turned 38 yesterday. In the grand scheme of things this, of course, matters not one jot. It doesn't end in a 5 or a 0, the arbitrary benchmarks we set for ourselves. But the one thing I always find about birthdays (and new year) is they do cause you to have a bit of a think. It's ludicrous I know, there is no pressing reason to be like this any more than on any other given day, but it's as though the brain goes "Right, birthday, stock-take time" and before you know it you're going all ruminative.

And one of the things I got ruminative about was the nature of birthday greetings on t'internet. Now it's a grand thing to receive cards, and I got a pretty good haul (some of them very pretty indeed, top work from both parents on card-picking) but, realistically it's far easier to pop something on facebook. I'm not decrying that at all. I wouldn't expect to receive a card from any of the people on there, in fact i think it's one of the nice…