Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Nobel Prize

No, I haven't damned well won it. For what? Making soup?  I have made three different kinds of soup this week.  This is about Ishiguro Kazuo - I have problems even spelling the guy's name. No, I don't know him. I wish I did. He looks like the kind of bloke you would ask to dinner. I have only read The Remains of the day. I didn't understand the damned thing at all and yet I did, it's a bit like Hamlet, you have to read or see it several times to understand stuff, don't you? It had that quality, like a good handbag or a decent bottle of champagne. Unmistakable.  And lots of layers to go at, like unpeeling a large onion.
It seems to me that there are an awful lot of very talented writers in the literary world and no doubt twenty or thirty of them could have qualified nicely for this. Seeing as the whole damned world is clever these days I would give it to the most decent person so I wonder if that's what happened.
And I wonder because I read a lovely piece about how he wrote The Remains of the Day and it's just totally charming. He speaks about his wife with love and she obviously puts up with him - I'm sorry but anybody who lives with any kind of writer puts up with them. So she told him or they decided that he would write the Remains of the Day in a month - just first draft but something telling, something he could work with because the year previous to this he had done lots of promotion. Let nobody tell you promotion is fun. People think writing is glamorous, it's about as glamorous as piles. I'm saying piles because I'm not sure how you spell haemorroids. Is that about right?Anyway, it isn't glamorous.
 Lots of people asking the same questions while you just wish you were at home watching Strictly or something else that doesn't require mental stretches. Saying the same things, smiling a lot, staying in hotels and putting up with those dreadful sandwiches they find for you at eleven o clock at night or worse still you have to go out with the people who are important so you can't drink in case you say the wrong thing, you can't hear because there are wooden floors, low ceilings, background music and dozens of people with loud voices. The white wine is warm and third rate, the sea bass is dried out and you just wish to hell you were at home.
And literary festivals. Dear Lord. Big discussion lately between authors about whether they should be paid for such.  Oh no, you are promoting your books.  Yes, well, just tell that to the plumber when you have a leaking tap. No, I'm not paying you. I'll tell the woman next door how good you are.
Very funny.
So he sits down and spends a month writing this first draft and after the first week he and his wife think he has completely lost it. As you would in those circumstances. God love the woman! But after a month of going nowhere and doing very little else except having time off for meals ( I was glad to hear he had two hours for dinner!) and there it is, the beginnings of masterpiece.
Lovely pic of him talking about an old hobo song that inspired him and with a guitar. All hail the man who seems so usual. So ordinary and yet so obviously not. Dead chuffed for him.

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