I tried reading a Harry Potter, but the syntax wasn’t subtle enough for me. I watched one film online to prep for watching another in the cinema. I was underwhelmed except by the opportunity afforded great English stage actors to embody good gals and bad guys, thereby increasing their fame and bank balances.
I am, however, overwhelmed by the author herself, pictured above in a reenactment of the lonely job of writing a children’s novel nobody necessarily wanted her to write, while on the dole, a single mother struggling with depression.
Of course, there’s nothing like depression to fuel literature.
In the photo, you’ll notice everyone else is reading as she assumes the position. What are they reading? Newspapers. Probably nothing they need to know, or indeed, even accurate or unbiased information. Random reading. Very little will involved. Except the will to be distracted, amused, shocked, informed.
What kind of will does it take to write that first book? What is the thing, the daemon, that propelled J K Rowling through page after page of blank lined paper, following the swirls of her own moving ball point pen? Not to mention following through and getting the thing published.
I envy her. And so, I expect, does every other so-called writer who’s never managed to finish a book. Never mind her phenomenal fortune, in every sense of that word. Although it’s hard to separate the two: the will to publish from the reward for that stubborn virtue.
Syntax be damned. I’m in love. The latest Guardian interview reveals a woman, to my mind, perfect in almost every way. I prefer the red hair. Not a perfect life, but a solid set of responses to an imperfect set of givens. Up to and including marrying a man who’s at home in a skirt.