If nothing else, I am reliable.
I was going to blog about Berlin, but I’ve been preoccupied with editing today. I’m starting to get the jitters. Is this thing actually any good? What’s the point? What’s the point in anything? Life, man, what’s it all about?
Funny thing, editing the first draft. I’ve had to create extra scenes to link the story together. This feels like I’m cheating on myself, because this part strikes me as writing rather than editing. But then I guess editing is as much to do with writing and rewriting as it with sorting out the glorious mess of the first draft.
Anyway, I knocked out 2,000 words and named a place ‘The No Strings Attached Motel’, both of which I was pretty pleased with. I did most of this while listening to Bowie’s 1997 Earthing. You’d have thought in ’97 the Chameleon of Pop would’ve embraced the current fad of Britpop, but oh no, not our Dave. He went full drum’n’bass. Personally, I think it’s a terrible fucking record, but if you scratch beneath the surface of the dreadful production, there are a couple of excellent tracks buried down there (primarily Seven Years In Tibet and I’m Afraid Of Americans).
After that, well, my brain needed a rest. So I figured it was Quote Time.
What to quote? Love the chap as I do, does the internet really need anymore Oscar Wilde quotes? So, I thought that seeing as this is supposed to be a blog about writing, I’d share something from a novel that not only inspired me, but affected me on many levels. Sad emoticon etcetera.
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton. Came out in 1941. Set in London, against the uneasy backdrop of impending World War II, it tells the story of man called George Harvey Bone, who is a big drinker with split personality disorder. It’s one of the bleakest, saddest novels I’ve ever read. George is basically mistreated by everyone he stumbles across in his life. It’s a tragic story and a very personal one. I won’t give you some half-arsed synopsis; I’ll just say that you should definitely, definitely read it. Even if you’re not into that shit. It’s good. It’s really, really good. And like all the best things, it’s as beautiful as it is sad.
This girl wore her attractiveness not as a girl should, simply, consciously, as a happy crown of pleasure, but rather as a murderous utensil with which she might wound indiscriminately right and left, and which she would only employ to please when it suited her purpose.
Now I guess you could read a little misogyny into that quote. ‘…not as a girl should…’ but I’m going to pass that off commentary on the time and concentrate on the part where it dwells on the use of her attractiveness as weapon. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Bastard Hamilton got there before me. ‘A murderous utensil.’ Most people judge, in some part, on looks (in fact a lot of my novel deals with that subject – or at least the first draft does).
It’s not a failing exclusive to straight men to be injured by malicious beauty. It’s a failing amongst people. This book just happens to be written in 1941 and its subject involves a poor man who is spurned by an aesthetically attractive, emotionally ugly woman. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had our hearts broken by someone who hasn’t deserved it.
Apparently they made it into a film. I haven’t seen it and have no desire to, but that’s where I’ve culled the picture on this post from. Gotta have a picture, right?
Murderous utensil. Jesus. What a stinger.