Procrastination II

I don’t know if he has a specific name for the phenomenon, but Jasper fforde at Crimefest 2014 mentioned something about the possibilities of time travel to muck about with the present. I’ll get to details in a minute, but I think he’s onto something.

His premise, if I remember correctly, is that something – anything – you might imagine, will be invented some time in the future, along with the aforementioned time travel.Why must edits be so easy to put off?

And all you have to do is imagine using the thing you’ve imagined, knowing that someone in the future will invent it, and will go back in time to share this invention with history.

It’s a peculiar sort of logic that only works within Mr fforde’s particular Universe.

But I think many of us who write novels have a similar sort of logic going on with a Work In Progress…

We can imagine the finished work, shining/matte cover and gilded spine (or perfectly-formatted ebook). And because we can imagine what the novel will be like, we forget that there’s a lot of work involved before we get to that hold-it-in-your-hand moment.

I am having something of an episode of this phenomenon at the moment…

I blame the macaroons.

Published in: on July 16, 2014 at 12:00 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , ,

6 books about books (and libraries)

Books about books (and libraries) have a special place in literature. Here’s six of my favourites.

The Name Of The Rose – William of Baskerville and his novice travel to a monastery in Northern Italy. As they arrive, the monastery is disturbed by a suicide. As the story unfolds, several other monks die under mysterious circumstances. William is tasked by the Abbot of the monastery to investigate the deaths. The protagonists explore a labyrinthine medieval library, discuss the subversive power of laughter, and come face to face with the Inquisition.

The Shadow Of The Wind – Daniel’s father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it, and must protect it for life.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld – the librarian is an orangutan, and some of the books are so dangerous they have to be chained shut.

Jasper Fforde‘s books – Thursday Next is a detective who works for Jurisfiction, the policing agency that works inside fiction. They are a series of books based upon the notion that what we read in books is just a small part of a larger BookWorld that exists behind the page.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Norrell has a library of all the magic books in England and hoards them in his house in remote Yorkshire.

and the anti-book:

Zardoz – In the distant future Earth is divided into two camps, the barely civilized group Sean Connery in an orange loincloth in Zardozand the overly civilized one with mental powers. Zed, one of the barbarians, who worships the stone head Zardoz, comes upon an old library where a mysterious stranger teaches him how to read. When he finds a copy of a well known book, he sets out to learn the secret of the god he worships in an orange loincloth…

Published in: on March 20, 2012 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on 6 books about books (and libraries)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,