An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, January 15, 2007

Whence Ignatius?

"Since I can't tell you, Gee, anything about the ur-writer - he is outside of our knowability - there can be no point explaining the issues for you, Mr Power. Suffice to say that the distinction between the author and the writer is more than enough for us to grapple with and that the author only shows his hand twice that I can recall in this piece of ours: once in Sonia's flat and once where he talks briefly about himself working with the spiral text. These two incidents show us that he wants to stand outside of the writer. That he wants to distinguish the two parts of a novelist - if novelist he is - essayist, short storyist, whatever. The distinction that he draws is between the artist at the conceptual level - our author, and the artist at the phrasal level, more, he suggests, a craftsman. He points to his interest as being primarily at the conceptual level and he behaves as though he the author does all the thinking and then just hands the concepts over to the writer to concretize."

Power huffed loudly. "Can we get on, please? You guys might find this author writer thing fascinating and I can see how it relates to the second layer of our palimpsest but can I ask something a tad more mundane? It is related, just a little more down to earth."

"Sorry Power, we didn't mean to keep you out - please go on - ask away"

"Now I am assuming that all of the characters that we have come across here inside the plot or narrative if you want are pretty much the same sort of thing as we are - Sonia, Alex, Boris, you, me, Charlie, the other Alex all off these are just like us - yes?" Charlie nodded "More or less, that's close enough". "Well in that case what about the others? The ones outside of this main text - the ones in the comments? Are they like us? This Merchant of Menace and the derek guy and etchie and linka-sofia and edscoble, are they all just characters? Are they some sort of Greek chorus invented by the author?"

Charlie sucked in his cheeks and reached for another cigarette. "Mmmm ... that's a hard one ... it's been keeping me up nights ... wondering ... surprised you even noticed ... but the answer is probably a qualified no ..." "After your high handed performance in Sonia's flat I started checking out the blogs regularly - I even read back through them, and every so often one or other of these jokers would turn up in the comments section. What do you mean by a qualified no? They are real? As in they exist outside of this thing - this palimpsest?"

"You both understand the blog thing, yes? OK, Well most of the comments are real ... as in external ... as in not written by the writer or the author or the other guy ... most, but not, I think, all ... I'm sure about all of them except one ... his comments are too critical ... he seems to be a figment ... something that's been put outside ... but from the inside as it were ... he's too ... too one dimensional ... like an ill tempered attack dog ... somewhere I detect the hand of the creator ... it's as if he was created to carp like a cheap literary critic ... we know his opinion of professional critics ... below body lice ... he doesn't ring true ... the others are sufficiently human to pass muster for me ... close enough for jazz anyway ... this derek though is almost certainly a created cretinous carper"

"Well," said Lory "if he's fictive he's a wonderful creation, reminds me somewhat of Ignatius O'Reilly. A learned dullard. But, if he is real then he is just a little prick with a little mind - the mind of a sad little stalker I'd say."

"I'm with Mr Lory on that judgement" said Power harrumphing "but I'm not sure I understand why you, Charlie, came down on the fictive side of the argument, I think he's just an obnoxious twat - there are enough of them around so I'm told - especially on the world wide web. Anyway he finally shut up."

"No he didn't. I shut him up. I intercept his witterings and whinings. I'm saving them up. We shall see. But he has definitely not shut up."


1 comment:

  1. No, you're wrong: he has shut up. That's it. Finis, terma, sto kalo, have a nice life. Unless you want to know where he was coming from, and why he's going. In which case, incorporate the word 'alter' in the next instalment, and an explanation will be forthcoming, as a coda.