On apologies

Althogh you may not be hearing anything about my reading (because I have not finished any books of note, life has just been too busy!) this does not mean I have completely unplugged from matters literary.

For exmaple listening to the World Service this morning I heard their "World Book Club" discussing Amitav Ghosh - "The Shadow Lines"  which I found fascinating.  It was very insightful into the wiring process, especially from this writers point of view of course.  This was much helped by a really really high standard of questions and commentary, which I suppose is to be expected given the mambers are drawn from "around the World" but the BBC!  The observation that struck me the most was that he had chosen to write about a horrendous period of violent unrest (Religious Wars in this case) and part of that choice for him was because whilst Wars have a consistently strong narrative (as William Boyd often seems to exploit!), including many many memoirs, biographies, and subsequent ficitonal accounts etc etc episodes like this inspire a sort of shameful collective silence and have no such "narrative".

Later on the regular radio I got to hear this and cannot resist posting it by way of my apology!  Credits to the "Wondering Minstrels" for the copy/paste

Deep Sorriness Atonement Song

(for missed appointment, BBC North, Manchester)

The man who sold Manhattan for a halfway decent bangle,
He had talks with Adolf Hitler and could see it from his angle,
And he could have signed the Quarrymen but didn't think they'd make it
So he bought a cake on Pudding Lane and thought "Oh well I'll bake it"

But his chances they were slim
And his brothers they were Grimm,
And he's sorry, very sorry,
But I'm sorrier than him.

And the drunken plastic surgeon who said "I know, let's enlarge 'em!"
And the bloke who told the Light Brigade "Oh what the hell, let's charge
The magician with an early evening gig on the Titanic
And the Mayor who told the people of Atlantis not to panic,

And the Dong about his nose
And the Pobble re his toes,
They're all sorry very sorry
But I'm sorrier than those.

And don't forget the Bible, with the Sodomites and Judas,
And Onan who discovered something nothing was as rude as,
And anyone who reckoned it was City's year for Wembley.
And the kid who called Napoleon a shortarse in assembly,

And the man who always smiles
Cause he knows I have his files,
They're all sorry, really sorry,
But I'm sorrier by miles.

And Robert Falcon Scott who lost the race to the Norwegian,
And anyone who's ever split a pint with a Glaswegian,
Or told a Finn a joke or spent an hour with a Swiss-German,
Or got a mermaid in the sack and found it was a merman,

Or him who smelt a rat,
And got curious as a cat,
They're all sorry, deeply sorry,
But I'm sorrier than that.

All the people who were rubbish when we needed them to do it,
Whose wires crossed, whose spirit failed, who ballsed it up or blew it,
All notches of nul points and all who have a problem Houston,
At least they weren't in Kensington when they should have been at Euston.

For I didn't build the Wall
And I didn't cause the Fall
But I'm sorry, Lord, I'm sorry,
I'm the sorriest of all.

-- Glyn Maxwell