Saturday 19 March 2016

Memory of Fire: Faces and Masks & Century of the Wind

Faces and Masks; Century of the Wind - Eduardo Galeano
(Part 2 & 3 of the Memory of Fire trilogy.)

"History, the pink-veiled lady offering her lips to those who win, will have much to hide. She will feign absent-mindedness or sicken with fake amnesia; she will lie that the black slaves of Brazil were meek and resigned, even happy."

It took me quite a while to get around to the second and third books in Galeano's trilogy after finishing Genesis last year. Not because of quality but perhaps a reflection of the fact that I have been reading less and having difficulty getting through longer books. Mind you, that's nothing to the slow pace of my blogging. But I am making a last attempt to finish this for Richard's annual Literature of Doom over at Caravana De Recuerdos. And to take the chance to wish Richard good health for 2016. (It is months since I wrote this introduction. This time I am just going to post this as an idea toward a blog on books 2 & 3 in Galeano's trilogy without trying to 'finish' it...)

The trilogy as a whole is a towering achievement, poetic, revelatory and both harrowing and life affirming. Somehow the human sprit is what shines through all these examples of man's inhumanity. The strength to resist long after resistance has been proved to be less than futile, the re-emergence of traditions and cultures that had apparently long been eradicated and the very existence of this trilogy, the work in itself a testament to the human spirit and to Galeano's love of his subject and willingness to rummage in the dusty entrails of history to illustrate his thesis. "They were not wrong he said, in reading destinies in the entrails of the animals they sacrificed. In the entrails, he said. In the entrails, not the heads, because a prophet who loves is better than one who can reason."

Thursday 17 March 2016



I've had this story knocking around in my head since a friend told me the bones of it one night in a pub. He was great storyteller and at least some of the stories he told were true. He has passed on so there is no way of checking it out.

If there was any truth in what he told it's buried in the morass of my invention. I have thought of writing a book of variations as I have considered at least a dozen frameworks into which I could put the essential elements.

However, this one is the only version I've managed to make any progress with. And although I don't consider it finished (Is a short-story ever finished?), I consider it complete. And as I've never even managed to complete a first draft of anything else it's unlikely to find a suite of companion stories anytime soon.

Anyway, having recently reached the figure for 300,000 page views on this blog I thought I'd mark the event and spare myself the bother of collecting more rejections (at the rate I submit it would take years to reach a respectable number of rejections) and self-publish. Anyway, I've issued enough pronouncements on other people's writing. Now they can strike back.

Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3xRokQqsoEGaHZSTzNYdXkyU3c/view?usp=sharing

Love to hear your comments... (or would I?)

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Favourite Songs, Part Four

Favourite Songs, Part Four

This is the final part of my long, long shortlist of 'Favourite Songs'. This part includes the songs from five minutes onwards and includes a few each by Dylan, Bush and Morrison. To be long and remain essential takes an extra something.