Thursday, 8 March 2018

Brighter Writings from Bleaker House

Sometimes, when my cat is attempting to hunt something - usually a ribbon or an unsuspecting guest’s foot - he focuses on it for a while, builds up momentum through a strange wiggling movement and then goes barreling towards it at top speed. Other times, he retreats from the object of interest, takes up a subtle hiding place (apparently unaware that he is bright white and stands out against the orange floor tiles) and then plans how to sneak up on the object. So focussed is he on his goal that he doesn’t notice, until he literally falls over it, the other often better toy waiting in his path. I wonder if this is how writing works, at least how it works for Nell Stevens. So focussed was she on the need to write a novel that she didn’t see the brilliant story lying in wait along that path until, fortunately, she fell over it.The result is her wonderful book about trying to become a Writer. Potential Writers everywhere: form a disorderly queue to add another layer of meta to writing a book about writing, by writing notes from this book about writing a book about writing.

In which I fall over Sir Tom Stoppard

            ‘There is a way to die and a way not to die. That is very important. Hence my admiration for George the Fifth who - on his dea...