Saturday, 7 November 2009

Grand Tome

Here’s another grand tome produced, presented, placed proudly but sternly on the publisher's desk. It creaks under the weight. Another vital part of the oeuvre. I present it to the world, all fifty million fucking words of it. May the world prove itself worthy.
Fifty million - an exaggeration. Perhaps only half a million, or even less again. But anyway, either way, such credible characters, such distillations. But are we really so lacking in credible characters that another few microscopically examined bores are some invaluable addition to our lives? Perhaps if one reads enough credible characters one might become one oneself. That might be what it's all about. Either that or the sheer volume of words has a beneficial effect.
“Ah but it’s not just the sheer volume of words. It’s the order he places them in.”
Yes, there is that. But imagine if someone was to lift up this book, a manuscript rather, the spine held in the hand, and the hand gives it a good shake and down tumble all the words, shaken loose from the hundreds of pages. Imagine the effort re-assembling them.
“My God, what’s happened to my manuscript?!”
“Don’t worry about your manuscript. Your manuscript’s fine. It’s the words that were in it that’s the problem. They’re all over the place. Can you remember what order they were in?”
The author, the great man- accept that it’s a man - is dumbfounded. “The order…the order…” he mumbles. “No, no…I could never remember the precise order. At least I think not. Some sections are embedded, yes here,” pointing to the heart. “No here,” - the head. “But this was the final draft. The only one.”
Final draft? It seems all these words have been whittled down. Revised and refined. Again and again. He’s written out this whole thing several times – without killing himself! It’s amazing what man can endure.


Anonymous said...

Been meaning to ask -Do you write professionally?

Andrew said...

No. Trying to figure out where I could try and get some of this stuff released. Not really the kind of things you tend to see published - much shorter than even "short stories".