Monday, April 23, 2007

Why people write...

The BBC's website has today posted an interesting little article about why people try to write novels.

I've just sent my No.3, as yet without confirmed title, off to my editor, the scariest moment of the year. Now, after spending yesterday imbibing the new Ian McEwan novel On Chesil Beach, I'm suffering intense attacks of humbleness. It's the most astonishing book, perfectly fashioned, as wonderfully balanced as the Mozart string quintets the heroine plays (ouch - my new MS features the G minor...resemblance, sadly, ends there). It's a piece-of-ivory examination, with McEwan's usual razor-edged detail, of a young couple's disastrous wedding night in 1962: the way that the course of a life can be determined by a gesture left unmade, a loving word left unsaid.

Now, the following is NOT a criticism. I'm just interested to see that the violinist, Florence, is portrayed as potentially frigid. Of course she's actually just very young, over-innocent, English, repressed...but could this be misinterpreted as yet another stereotyping of classical musicians as sad, sexless beings who can't loosen up?

Ironic if so, because a lot of professional classical musicians are rampant. Passionate, wildly sexed-up beings, with filthy senses of humour, who love the electric energy of the adrenalin rush in performance, the thrills of being on stage giving their all, the ecstasy of being adored; wine, women(/men) and song... Some have crazy lives and idiosyncratic ways of letting off steam. But frigid? lol.

That's one reason some of us write.