East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Two writing issues

Yeah, I know, I know… I’ve been told years ago that writers write, they don’t talk about writing.
But you see, I spent some time yesterday discussing with a young author1 about two issues I never considered issues in the first place, when it comes to writing:

  1. Basing the main character on ourselves
  2. Taking responsibility for what we write

I was rather surprised by the responses of my counterpart, and in the end I think he was rather annoyed by my position, so I thought I may as well annoy you guys. Continue reading

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A drying up of the soul

51H8S032BHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I was doing the usual three-cards trick on my shelves, trying to slot more volumes in the same old space, and while trying to find a place for the old London Gazzeteer, I found myself with no place for Peter Ackroyd‘s Albion.
And as it happens, I sat down a while and browsed through that 500-odd pages hardback.

For those that missed it, Ackroyd’s Albion is a book about “the origins of English imagination” – that is to say, a catalog and discussion of those elements that make up the imaginary matter of Britain, that complex collection of legends, images, clich├ęs and stories that is the basis of so much literature, music, art and what not.

Now the interesting bit is I was discussing, two nights back, with my friend Lucy among others, what we perceive as an increasing impoverishment of the imaginary matter backing what’s sold as fantasy, as horror, as science fiction. Continue reading