Who are you again?
Patrick Holland. I'm an Australian writer, much influenced by you.
Find your own voice, God dammit. Even the people who presume to criticise me ape me these days. Have you seen where Chatwin does it? Has a shot at my style while using it?
I like Chatwin.
Sure, but he might respect his teachers.
They say he carried a copy of your first short story collection in his rucksack wherever he went. In fact, it's that I wanted to talk to you about: stories. I'm doing a short story writing class shortly, and I was hoping you could give the students, who'll read this, a few pointers.
Writing's easy. Just sit at a typewriter and bleed.
Yes, but surely there's more to it than that. It's not all about content, but form too. You care about form and style as much as anyone of your time.
Are we going to open that bottle of Pernod?
Sorry, I forgot. Allow me.
Right. What was your question?
Join me and the wonderful Josephine Rowe this week over at RAF
... Richard Dawkins was driving his big red bus around Norfolk. He wasn’t actually driving. He was in it though. The bus was being driven by Richard Dawkins’s friend and ethicist Peter Singer, who was in England on holiday when the proper bus driver had a spell of gout. The bus was that very bright kind of red that people who paint things call vermillion, so everyone noticed it pass. On the side of the bus was a great big banner that said,
When the bus drove through the towns the townspeople smiled and waved.
‘Look,’ said Mrs Aubrey Smith to her daughter. ‘There goes Richard Dawkins in his big red bus. Wave to him, Jenny!’
And she did.
And Richard Dawkins waved back.
When Richard Dawkins drove past a dairy farmer standing in a lane outside Holt, the dairy farmer took notice of the banner.
‘Well that settles that,’ said the farmer to himself. ‘I won’t be paying my church tithe anymore!’
When Richard Dawkins drove into Norwich there was a lot more traffic than in the countryside. Driving a big bus in a city, even a small city, perhaps especially a small city, with narrow roads and tight corners, is not easy if you’ve accustomed yourself to highways and empty country lanes. But Richard Dawkins didn’t let this dampen his spirits. To be fair, as I said earlier, it wasn’t actually him doing the driving (as before it was Peter Singer, and city driving is no easier on ethicists than anyone else, and probably harder on them than proper bus drivers). So he—Richard Dawkins—continued to sit at the window and wave to people standing on the edge of the street just as before.
‘He’s not as nasty as some people say!’ said a little girl holding a balloon.
‘He’s not nasty at all!’ her grandmother replied ...
See RAF VOL 10 ISS 3 for more
Pensees - spelling and punctuation mistakes and all ... I believe at least three quarters of what I say. ... And the good stuff only stays posted for an hour or two.