It took seven years to write Eunoia
Eunoia is the shortest word in English containing all five vowels – and it means “beautiful thinking”. It is also the title of Canadian poet Christian Bok’s book of fiction in which each chapter uses only one vowel.
Mr Bok believes his book proves that each vowel has its own personality, and demonstrates the flexibility of the English language. Below are extracts from each chapter.
More here, and I see some commenters are asking ‘why?’, to which I can only say, Christian Bok, marry me…
In my file of potentially useful things to hold against the children should it become necessary (what? You expect me to believe you don’t have one? All parents should…) I have my son’s first published piece of work. Along with a drawing of him looking like Edward Scissorhands for some reason, all hair and fingers, there’s this:
I came to school and I haud no curectshens and then we went down the hill to get the bus but it wasn’t theyr it had brocen down then we went to maisieq the firer (nope, I don’t know what this mean either – probably involved some sort of snack. They seemed to snack a lot in Edinburgh. Anyway it all adds to the narrative tension I think he’s achieved perfectly because look what happens next … ) then we came bac and we went up the hill.
And now I have just received his latest published piece of work. A little different maybe, not least because I can understand every word. I bet he still had no curectshens… And that’s the end of the proud mother alert, apart from the fact this isn’t going in the potentially embarrasing file – although I have a dreadful feeling he might be keeping one on me now and this blog post is so going in there!
Lots of good stuff in Catherine Ann Jones’s book, The Way of Story, but I particularly liked this anecdote of the origin of word, ‘pitching’, for selling a story.
According to Jones, during the Spanish Inquisition, Torquemada would tell imprisoned playwrights that if they could interest him in an idea, he would let them live long enough to write it. If not, they were dropped into a large vat of boiling tar.
To the Chelsea Physic Garden recently of which much more later but because this blog likes chocolate (oh yes it does) here’s some more proof gathered, if needed, of the scientific botanical evidence that chocolate is good for you …
From Pepys .. the cure for a hangover …
Hans Sloane, obviously a man of taste even if he is the patron saint of flowery head-scarves …
And lastly, in the spirit of scientific experiments, I’ve been testing just how calm this makes me (although a friend did suggest wine might be quicker)…
And here’s Hans Sloane himself, although, look, someone’s just stolen his bar of chocolate from his hand. Bloody typical behaviour of those sloane rangers…
Passing this on … looks terrifying if you (or your story) are the ‘body’, but I really want to watch!
Just a quick note to let you know that BAD IDEA magazine is launching a new monthly writer’s workshop and theatrical experience called ‘The Butcher’s Shop’ this Thursday at the Old Operating Theatre Museum in London. Short stories submitted by guests will be dissected, chopped up, and improved through an intensive process of live editing and debate. An audience of 50 other writers will discuss and argue with BAD IDEA’s editors as they place the writing of guests on a 19th century operating table – project it onto a big screen – and go to work removing inefficiencies, excising flabby adjectives and probing narrative structure. The ultimate goal: to create live debate about the editorial process, and involve attendees in a dramatic ‘theatre-in-the-round’ exploration of the writing craft. Sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin, tickets include complimentary cocktails in the theatre’s Herb Garret. If any of you are in London on October 30, or have students who might be in the area, we’d love to see you there.
Anyone who puts their name down for a ticket in the next couple of days will also eligible to have their story reviewed on the night: if any of your students are interested in attending and would like to submit a short story/ies of 350 words length, please tell them to send the text through to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories submitted by Mon/Tues stand a great chance of being edited/reviewed during the event. Despite the gory title, ‘The Butcher’s Shop’ live editing process will be playful and fun. More info is online: www.badidea.co.uk/thebutchersshop
(The ticket price, including open bar and gifts from Hendrick’s and Fentimans, is £12. Workshops are from 7pm – 9pm on the final Thursday of every month, beginning 30 October 2008, at the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, 9a St. Thomas’s St., London SE1 9RY. Places limited. All stories must be submitted in advance of the event. We cannot guarantee that all stories submitted will be edited at the event. For further details please contact BAD IDEA email@example.com.)
That’s me, apparently!
I was happily surprised to see a poem of mine, Night Letters, quoted as part of an answer to the question – Dear Book Doctor, I haven’t actually been affected by the financial crisis yet but it still feels unnecessarily frivolous to go out and buy lots of new clothes right now. What do you think? Eva, London - in the Financial Times yesterday.
According to ‘book doctor’, Rosie Blau:
“…the lesson of literature is that shopping won’t serve you well.
“Like letters he keeps her bills/on a spike by their bed,/each pierced through the heart,” run the first lines of Sarah Salway’s poem “Night Letters”. The picture that emerges of this shopper isn’t attractive: “He thinks of her then, prowling the shops,/licking her lips at a colour, or the cut/of a jacket, focussed ahead,/ hearing nothing but the click/of her credit card.”
Of course, Night Letters is taken from a series of poems based around a shopaholic, looking at the thin line between a pleasure and an addiction, so it wasn’t supposed to be attractive. It’s been hard to write too, because I seem to have become extra-sensitive to all the incentives to shop, spend money, buy this, that, anything in the quest to be a different person.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve been enjoying this blog and this blog recently.
… makes me happy. I’m loving these daily resolutions from this site. The best countdown to the end of the year I’ve ever had.
The House of Books has No Windows. (Although Alex thinks it looks more like a shed, of course).
Has anyone seen it? I’m wondering if the no windows bit is a good thing, or a bad. Are they saying that too many books make us look inward, rather than out of the windows? I’m thinking of the exercise in The Artists Way where you have to give up reading for a week. Yep, that’s it. The one that makes most writers hyperventilate.