With the novel Elegy of a Forgotten Day I came up with the title first and decided that I had to write something to fir the title. This has happened a couple of times with my novels, where I get a title which I really like, and have to write a novel to fit. Other novels like that include On Her Majesty’s Mystic Service and The Magician at the End of the World.
The novel is one of my attempts at writing something which is not genre fiction, which is not full of Magick or vampires or people discovering an alternate reality through an attempt at lucid dreaming. I see no reason why we should have divisions between literary and fantasy fiction. It is not something which we really had in Victorian times or the very early 20th century. H G Wells could write something like The History of Mr Polly without people denigrating him for having already written something like The Invisible Man. I wonder how Stephen King would be seen by some of the more snobbish book critics if he had started with something like Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, rather than having Carrie as his breakthrough work.
As to Elegy of a Forgotten Day, the novel is an attempt to describe nothing more or less than a ‘duvet day’ when a person cries off work and does next to nothing at all.
Extract from Elegy Of A Forgotten Day
The alarm clock bleepity-bleep-bleep-bleeped, doing impressions of the birds outside – but only because the urban songbirds had learnt to mimic car alarms, mobile phones, doorbells and other electronic noisemakers. Avian trills now imitated the Crazy Frog; the birds are having to shout to make themselves heard over the rumble of early morning lorries, carrying freight which would once have gone on the rails. Good morning, and welcome to UK PLC! And you are fucking welcome to it. All of you.
“Fuck. What time is it?”
Too early. Still too fucking early, to borrow the vernacular of the sleepyhead. It was not yet six of the clock. But bosses (wankers!) don’t care about that. It’s called flexible working. But that means that it’s you which has to be flexible, never the company (whoremongers!) who you work for. No, the orders have to go out, no matter what. As to personal life, that is secondary to the diktat of the bosses (bastards!).
The birds outside are still fighting the good fight, their uneven battle against noise pollution, one which they are destined to lose. Every war ends in at least one defeat. But, still, they will trill themselves hoarse, in trying to be heard. Those who are not heard will not get to mate; the survival of the fittest means that their numbers will drop. It is not good to have to shout to make yourself heard, whether avian or human. Yet that is all that many people ever seem to do, no longer able to communicate probably, merely shouting at each other, curses bouncing off the unlistening ears of those who have professed eternal love at the altar in some redundant church.
But the neighbours aren’t shouting yet. They are both living on benefits. They won’t be up for hours yet. Apparently job hunting does not begin until noon (or later). But it doesn’t seem that they’re starving, the loving couple who exchange Anglo-Saxon curses in their kitchen sink melodrama. Not judging by the oil-eating, carbon burning 4 X 4 parked outside. Perfect for taking their one kid to school, or doing the shopping at the ‘local’ out of town German superstore. Kids don’t walk to school any more. They’re too fat; and their parents are too scared of the 21st Century’s stand in for the Ogre: the dreaded paedophile. One lurking around every corner – in parent’s imagination, anyway. While the real, biggest danger to young children’s health is in fact the motorcar. Not just from being knocked down from them – but also by being carried in them, thus reducing the amount of exercise which the child gets, leading, in some cases, to obesity, and all of the health problems which come with that.
The novel Elegy for a Forgotten Day is available as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle store.