'We write to taste life twice:in the moment and in retrospect.' Anaïs Nin
Saturday, 21 September 2019
Writing From The Frontiers of Older Age
I am enjoying working
hard on my new collection of short stories to be called Kaleidoscope, A View
from the Frontier. This title – and the nature of these short stories, was inspired
by the work of Diana Athill and Jean Rhys. I was particularly
engaged by Diana Athill’s insightful comment on the late work of Jean Rhys,
with whom she worked with as editor in the last 15 years of Rhys’s long
life. Athill remarked on Rhys’s writing ‘from the ‘frontiers of old age’ as
being of her very best,
Having reached a certain age
myself, I have been very encouraged by these ideas. Thinking about it, I
realised the degree to which my mind and imagination is a storehouse of
experiences of my whole life – perceptions, sensual reactions, pleasures and
pains - all ensconced in that accommodating space.
This storehouse, I have been
thinking, must contain a whole series of stories which are worth telling. For
some time I have been playing around with the idea that all these
perceptions are in this new bits of glitter that one sees
in a kaleidoscope – each one existing in its own right. Each time you shake kaleidoscope
you make a unique pattern.
These short stories, I decided,
would not be mere memoiristic storytelling.
The short stories here in this
new collection come from shaking my own kaleidoscope of sparkling memory and encountering
the unique patterns of meaning that emerge from the virtually random elements
locked up in my storehouse. So the stories here spring from experiences in
different times in different places, fused together by the art of fiction.
The Kaleidoscope means that each story is different.
can read one of the short stories – Patchouli
- here on the sidebar ->