Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Start of the Day:171,422
End of the Day: 174,723
Written: 3,301

I was reading an interview given by another author published by Quercus, Tom Fletcher (his book 'The Leaping' is highly recommended), and one of the questions posed was about the themes Tom had incorporated in his novel. This got me thinking.

My approach to writing is totally instinctive - an instinct backed I suppose by having read piles upon pile of books - so I have never really taken the time (or thought I had the need) to analyse just what I am writing about or even considered what are the themes that dominate The Demi-Monde. This, I suppose, is hardly surprising as by nature I'm something of a Deconstructivist - I hate regimentation - and apt to just go with the flow, but I had to admit it was an intriguing question.

I cogitated and came up with the answer that the major theme of The Demi-Monde is absurdity. The religions of the Demi-Monde - UnFunDaMentalism, ImPuritanism, HerEticalism, HimPerialism, RaTionalism and Confusionism - are merely the religions of the Real World stretched and distorted to breaking point. Now it might be that some readers think that all I was intent on doing was taking the piss but this is not the case. I believe that only by showing a belief system in extremis so to speak is it possible to see it as it really is...reductio ad absurdum.

It is a fact that every religious and political creed eventually becomes just a ridiculous pastiche of what it originally was but by then its followers (and the guys at the top making so much money out of it) have invested so much intellectual and emotional capital in it that they are unable (and unwilling!) to see it for what it has become. This is 'The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome' and why all religions and all political systems ultimately end in tears: they collapse under the weight of their own absurdity.

Satire is the way in which a belief sysem is stress tested and why it is so essential that a society is open, free of censureship and one in which everything can be criticised

The problem I have is that by concluding the Demi-Monde has a satirical aspect I find myself on quite trecherous ground, in imminent danger of taking myself too seriously and getting a long way up myself (I'm no Jonathan Swift, after all).

But if I can't reach the heights attained by Swift, I can, at least, be inspired by him:

"Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but there own.'

I think I'm gonna quit now while I'm ahead. Let's just say the major theme of The Demi-Monde is entertainment...and if it stimulates a little thought along the way, then that's my Bonus Ball.

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