What the left is reading today

I wrote up this killer of a blog contribution yesterday then in a frantic jam, lost the lot. Yes, we know what lessons should be learnt. I’m caught with trying to replicate lost text or simply move on.

Nonetheless, I’m stalled. It’s like that moment when you are caught at the base of a wave as it builds up behind you. You want to catch it and ride to shore but for that brief moment you go no where special as the undertow gathers you into the wall of water that is forming with a will to take you with it –and you know that when it grabs you will have no control over the momentum.

So there’s no recourse but to dabble. I doubt that I have a profundity in me.

Not that that should dishearten you. You’ve come to the right place. I can InstaPundit with the rest of them. I can be as boorish as the next egotist. But, let’s say, for the moment, I’ve lost my pretensions.

In fact, this here is an exercise in habituation. I’m setting a blogging schedule that will sustain me (and you, I hope) ad infinitum. So I’m moving from before to after by stepping-stone-ing my way via paragraphs.

I know that blogging is simply ideal for my lifestyle: sedentary, domiciled, looking out.—a-room- with-a-view sort of thing. With such accoutrements as are on hand I can run a mean existence punching the keys. It’s addictive in a way that spare moments can be productive. Such that when the other half returns from foraging and asks me what I did with my day –at least I can say I blogged!

There are people like me who take to this art with abandon and passion. For us, it’s the very best thing since sliced bread. There’s even a competition pending about writing a novel by blogging it during one month of frenzy. Imagine the url: http://the_great_australian_novel.blogsite.com (a work in progress). We all know that there are many ways to pen a literary work. Today even Samuel Pepys Diary is being blogged long after his nibs’-- the good Mr Pepys -- demise.

This way you do away with the middle man. Each writer self publishes and the editor doesn’t get a look in.

Serialising a novel was the way Dickens wrote so many of his. Even the irrepressible Pickwick Papers came out in bits and pieces. Armistead Maupin wrote Tales of the City the same way. So it can be done –and done well.

But my problem is that I’m more a script writer – a user and abuser of dialogue. That’s’ what I like to think is my forte. With theatre the middle man is all over you – actors & directors—so it’s no wonder I turned to puppetry. In a Punch and Judy booth there’s you and the puppets – you and an animatable toolbox.

As I say, I’m sedentary and domiciled so my puppetry days are past history and while I may miss Mr Punch, Judy, Constable Wallop, Baby and the Crocodile – I still own their voices and bond with their POV.

Nonetheless, I cannot help thinking that in the day of Michael Moore there’s many ways to skin a cat. The MM factor was significant here at the recent poll when a menagerie of protestors costumed as critters followed the Howard bandwagon throughout the land. But a rat costume can only get you so far in life. There’s no fine point to it.

Thus: blogging.

But let’s assume that the options of blogging a novel interests me. Let’s assume I’ve got the wherewithal. What would I write? If we accept the mantra-- No plot? No problem—then we have a beginning by default. Plots are such artificial devices anyway – look at Dickens!

We also need a model. And herein is my short list of favorite ‘novels’ (and I use that term loosely)

The Good Soldier Sweik by Jaroslav Hašek
The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien
..all the novels of Thomas Love Peacock

So if they ask, “what the left is reading today?” Tell, them, “It’s Bunyan.”

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