Thursday, April 26, 2012


A. L. Kennedy is very high up on the permanent personal list of favorite living writers and I am (after several recent novels by others that exasperated to the point of abandonment) gratefully gladly trustingly buried at present in the middle of her new work, The Blue Book.

"There have been television programmes and movies that you've watched ironically, or not at all, but you're aware that others took them at face value and accepted what you couldn't. You often read the papers and then hear their headlines repeated later, undiluted by an intervening thought, stale ideas in strangers' mouths, and this can disturb you. You worry true believers are out there, like fierce toddlers needing to have their own way, hoping to turn their whole species their own way: to unleash the unbridled market, unbridled government, unbridled precepts from unforgiving gods. You suspect they want to mark you with mythical whips, prepare you in their stories, dreams, laws, so that you will bleed in this world and the next. Their posturing can seem ridiculous, but also a genuine risk."