Sunday 9 August 2009

One blog is not enough. I find it telling that the first blog I created was about the music in my life and only the second one was about writing (and reading). But then writing and reading come under the heading of work as well as pleasure, whereas music is for me pure pleasure. I guess it would be different if I was a gigging musician. Instead I'm a gigging writer and that's what I'll be writing about here. And also what I'm reading, which at the moment is William Golding's Lord of the Flies. A nice old Penguin Modern Classic paperback edition. It lives in the pocket of my jacket and gets read on trains. Recently I was reading with trepidation the scene where the increasingly feral schoolboys, armed with spears, attack a sow suckling its piglets. Having speared the screaming piglets, the boys are chasing the sow through the jungle of their tropical island. As a well known animal lover, I was frankly dreading this. The boys finally corner the sow in a forest clearing. As they prepare to close in for the kill, Golding describes the uncomprehending desperation of the sow. And he says the clearing is full of "sweat and noise and blood and terror". At which point I began to chuckle, utterly jolted out of my discomfort. Golding, you chump! Pigs don't sweat. They don't have sweat glands. What a relief, to have what promised to be a gruesome prose experience converted so smoothly to a mirthful moment of chuckling superiority over the author. I guess you can say the spell was broken. A big relief for a pig lover like me. Now where is that Milano salami sandwich...


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