I've been shy about blogging what I'm working on. I do want to tell you, not that you're waiting with bated breath or anything, but I get excited and want to tell as many people as possible. Of course if I start writing here about other people's plans, the people I'm working with, that'd be unfair on them and I'd get a bollocking from my agent quicker than you could say Robinson Crusoe. But I'll venture to say I'm writing a version of Birds by Aristophanes, and planning an adaptation of A Christmas Carol for a production at Yuletide. I've also got a commission in the pipeline for a play to be written before the end of the year, about one of my heroes, the astronomer Johannes Kepler (and his mum). So the plate is nice and full and it's time to start tucking in...
Also meanwhile this sort of thing is going on, which is frankly hard to believe.
Talking of Robinson Crusoe, the rehabilitation of Virginia Woolf continues... I read her short essay on Defoe's novel and it praises with perfect clarity his genius for descriptive prose, for fixing the ordinary in language so as to make us see it, to the effect that his larger drama - a man, alone, for twenty-odd years, away from the world of people and things - is for all its extraordinariness utterly real to us:
...by reiterating that nothing but a plain earthenware pot stands in the foreground, [Defoe] persuades us to see remote islands and the solitudes of the human soul. By believing fixedly in the solidity of the pot and its earthiness, he has subdued every other element to his design; he has roped the whole universe into harmony. And is there any reason, we ask as we shut the book, why the perspective that a plain earthenware pot exacts should not satisfy us as completely, once we grasp it, as man himself in all his sublimity against a background of broken mountains and tumbling oceans with stars flaming in the sky?
There's a nice thrum of activity in the ****osphere just now. Besides the incredibly interesting post by David E on the state of the political left (inspired by Nick Cohen's new book), I've been delighted, amused and inspired by old friends like Ova Girl, Richard Herring, pm and Harriet (In The Aquarium), and people I've caught up with relatively recently, like James Martin Charlton, Ben Ellis, Lance Woodman, Emma Rosoman (Now, how did that happen), Phil Porter, Natasha Tripney (Interval Drinks), Morgan Rachel Sproxton (Are Words Enough?), and City Slicker.
To everyone on my blogroll, happy March, pinch punch!