“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Friday, 12 March 2010

Stranger than fiction. Part II.

Well I suppose it's not bad. Holding out until my sixty eighth year before reading a PG Wodehouse story that is. There has never been anything about Wodehouse or his upper class characters that appealed to me in the slightest. Then for some reason I picked up a Blandings Castle tale a couple of weeks ago and here I am on the final pages of my second Blandings book and looking forward to The Code Of The Woosters and all that stuff about Spode and the Black Shorts. There goes the last of my already dwindling stock of political credibility I suppose.
In fact I have a tenuous connection to Wodehouse that is almost as bizarre as one of his plots. PG Wodehouse was a distant relative of John Wodehouse the 4th Earl of Kimberly a man who was recognized by fellow toffs as possibly one of the biggest shits in history and holder of the record for being the most married member of the British aristocracy. Among the Earl's six wives was one Carmel Maguire, daughter of the former welterweight champion of Australia and a woman who had set her sights on climbing the social hierarchy. Having born him a son (who was later to inherit the title) Wodehouse dumped Carmel and moved on.
Later she would re-marry to someone else not short of a bob or two, the wealthy Norfolk landowner Jerremy Lowndes. Enter the young anarchist, hippy yacht skipper as was, now matured as your Freedom Pass blogger. I ended up skippering the Lowndes' yacht for a few months and I have to say that they were two of the most objectionable people that I have ever come across. I was very glad to see the back of them and their job. It must have been twenty years later that I read in the papers that Lowndes had battered his wife to death with a candlestick in a drunken rage and was to stand trial for murder before a Spanish court. I think that Spain was still garroting murderers at the time and for a while I was reconsidering my view on capital punishment.


henry said...

Wow . . .! That's obviously a sign from the non-existent God(dess) that you should gorge yourself on Bertie & Co to get the rhythm of the text and write a rattling good yarn with a detective (yr alter ego) being an on-the-run FAI/CNT survivor who skippers boats for scummy & dim toffs at the same time as smuggling people/messages/money/guns to and from Francoist Spain or Salazarist Portugal - not sure where the detective stuff comes in, but it's got to be there or you can't do a series.
And, no, I am not joking or taking the piss. You can obviously write well, you have a fund of experiences, a ton of opinions and a big dollop of attitude. So think it over - the hard work is the construction of plot that'll drag a reader to the end. Why not?

ray said...

Ooo! Henry! Bet you say that to all the bloggers.

henry said...

Not that often, most bloggers are tedious & dull, Jesus, are they dull... But some aren't.
It would be way out there - with lottery-style odds against actually making money or a name for yourself. But short stories (wise and a little sad like an anarchist Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor) would work. Then a collection as a free e-book (pdf) costs nothing to do.
Coldtype does some great stuff, all free...


... and Joe Bageant on that site does some superb writing (Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War was his bestseller) and he's like Keillor in a way, same touch of sadness, same sort of humour, but a touch of Studs Terkel, with the feeling of a weary righteous anger, far more class aware.

www.Joe Bageant.com

So, sorry if I'm nagging, but I've an eye for a good text (honest).