Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Post-Coital Tristesse

Not that I have had a coital for ages and certainly not one through the post (would it fit through the letter box) but in place of deserved joyeux, I feel tristesse.

My book is complete. My final critic, Richard, a retired English tutor, has read and approved, with a few digs at some of my malapropisms, like grizzly instead of grisly, and is, at this moment, re-reading it for a final check before returning it for me to correct.

So I should be feeling good. Except I am not. If anything I feel deflated. It is a familiar sensation after any creative effort on my part. Is that it, is my interior response; after the intense concentration, application, worry and tension, is that it? Seems so.

Things, I know, will pick up once I start on the next stage, which is to get it published. Also, I need to start on my next book. I have been in a limbo for the past five or six weeks as each of my critics have kindly devoted their time to reading my work and delivering their judgment.

So it is finished - practically perfect as it is possible to be.

We had, that is Richard, Sue and myself, an interesting discussion about the title. Their view is it doesn't work. So we spent some time thinking of a replacement, an exercise that soon descended into a series of appalling puns on the word gull. Prior to the collapse of our collective dignity, we also discussed how best to classify the book. The best we could agree on were literary, contemporary, blackly comedic, and Kafkaesque - the last I am unsure of as it is usually a term employed when writers attempt to inflate the worth of their work, or wish to imply it is something other than it is - badly written and illogical.

My book adheres strictly to its own logic and for that reason we considered and rejected magic realism as it does not repeatedly present you with the fact you are now entering a time or logic warp. (Besides, Richard is not a fan of magic realism.) He promised to apply his considerable intellect in the search of the most appropriate word to categorise it.

I broke the bad news to Rebecca, re: the title, she having thought of it. She was stoic. Having spent the afternoon browsing the titles of books in Borders, I decided we were all trying too hard to find an intriguing title. Let the book intrigue and the title describe. For the time being I have decided to re-title it Thursday to Thursday. Rebecca approves.

Richard mentioned my book reminded him of The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien, not a book I have read. I have just looked it up on Amazon and discover this product description:

A masterpiece of black humour from the renown comic and acclaimed author of 'At Swim-Two-Birds' -- Flann O'Brien. A thriller, a hilarious comic satire about an archetypal village police force, a surrealistic vision of eternity, the story of a tender, brief, unrequited love affair between a man and his bicycle, and a chilling fable of unending guilt, 'The Third Policeman' is comparable only to 'Alice in Wonderland' as an allegory of the absurd. Distinguished by endless comic invention and its delicate balancing of logic and fantasy, 'The Third Policeman' is unique in the English language.

I don't think Richard had been drinking - he gave up some time ago.


Kingsdowner said...

Congratulations on finishing the book. Are you really sure that you've completed it....won't you spend time mulling over possible changes, or do the discussions with your critics draw a line?

Re the title, obviously I cannot know what's in the book, but as gulls are rarely continent I must applaud the proposed change.

Good luck with publication!

DOT said...

Thanks - I spent a long time on the edits and most of the comments have been marginal in terms of improving it - sounds big-headed, but I sent out what I thought was as near perfect as possible, so either the whole was complete crap or acceptable. All the comments my critical readers have made have been welcomed and included.

As for the incontinence of gulls I thought they did have control over their bowels. It matters not if I am wrong, re: the novel, but am interested.

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