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.

You can read one of the short stories – Patchouli - here on the sidebar ->

Back to The Kaleidoscope.  Such fun.

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