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Scandinewvian

Hi there. It’s a time when many people eat too much, drink too much, and are miserable for lots of other reasons too. If this is you, I really am very sorry and hope things improve soon. You can console yourself with the thought that this occasion only comes once a year.

I’m no expert, but the occasion of this occasion is the birth of someone who remarked that he brought “not peace but the sword”. He went on to give some unpleasant details about this, and how right he has been proved! The “Prince of Peace” said he wasn’t, straight out, but for some reason people keep wanting to not believe it.

It is true that we don’t have to think like this. We don’t need to feel that we’ve got to get down with the swordplay, and that makes it our own doing, that we go on  doing terrible things. It’s our fault – all sides. We really can do something about it, if we want to.

This year, 2016, is about to conclude, and it won’t be back. Good.

While it’s been unraveling before my astonished gaze, I’ve been watching a Danish “noir” television series, The Killing. This had three seasons and I’ve brought the lot on DVD after seeing the final ten-part epic.

Generally I don’t watch television – see my blog post, “Scandinoirvian nights”. But like the Swedish police thriller Wallander, The Killing lifted television beyond its limitations to reach the standard of fine film-making – just. Television’s self-imposed limitations are present in The Killing, especially the apparent need to follow a template – each episode repeats the format so that by the end of the second installment the structure is an obstruction, artifice standing squarely in the way of art: the same music at the same place, the way the opening is interfaced with credits, etc. A film doesn’t have to succumb to this allure, though “franchises” inevitably face the same dilemma – witness the “Indiana Jones” spinoffs, or Star Wars, or James Bond: the very qualities that make the first take  a success, tend to render successors trivial. These challenges to film are however splattered all over television series as if they are de rigeur, and it’s not pretty.

Despite this, The Killing is worth watching. It is unlike Wallander in that the episodes are not complete in themselves; each of the three series needs to be seen entire. Fortunately the template was tweaked for each and the last series – which your unworthy correspondent saw first – is better than the first.

The Killing has a lot to say, but it is not always clear whether it means to say it. The series focused on a police homicide detective, Sarah Lund, who was the only woman on the squad. The acrress portraying her, Sophie Grabol, said that initially she had a hard time working out Lund’s personality, but when she realised the character was a man in a woman’s body, it became easier.

The brains behind the series, Soren Sveistrup, might or might not have enjoyed this characterisation. Certainly Lund is a fractured person with an intensity of focus that rattles her colleagues; once the bit is between her teeth she doesn’t let up, even when she is suspended. She is a genius at solving horrific murders, sees things others miss, and is thus invaluable. . .but. . .well, I’m not going to offer any spoilers here.

The series succeeds despite its limitations. If it is to be believed, Denmark is a festering sinkhole of envy, intrigue and corruption – still rotten despite Hamlet’s stable cleansing efforts all those centuries ago. The police force is not only not exempt, but also so flagrantly incompetent it is a wonder any crimes are ever solved, leaping to conclusion after conclusion in the rush to get a conviction. Innocent suspects are dragged into the station to be verbally abused and often have their lives ruined, to be replaced by other innocent suspects, while the police officers spend a lot of time blaming and talking past each other, when not ordering someone else to do something. Meanwhile, victims’ families’ lives are torn apart, politicians are dragged into the affair, while the culprit’s machinations suggest that Hamlet’s* ability to concoct and carry out an involved plan behind a facade was not a one-off and may even be a Danish character trait.

So Sarah Lund succeeds in a man’s world by being more than a man, and it is hard on her psyche. This says something, and for those of you who have followed this blog, you will know what I think, or if you don’t, try “Grand Larssony” and “Toiling with Troilus”. We are talking epochal realignments here, true progress – or not.

Scandinoirvian crime depiction is gruesome. Both Wallander and this series feature murders ranging from draining the blood of the victim while still conscious, torture and dismemberment, to the most brutal rapes and beyond. That the true focus lies in the human relationships of the series verges on contradiction, but ultimately that is the underlying point, and it is a political one, whether authors mean it or not. Certainly Henning Mankell, the man behind Wallander, was a “leftist” radical, and Millennium trilogy author Stieg Larsson’s politics were also well out there.

All this blood and guts and tension, and the year we are finishing up has included a new word imported from Danish into English: “hygge”, which means a kind of comfort that one finds in mug of tea and a blanket on a cold night, especially when shared with loved ones. In Norwegian the concept is given a name that is a semi-cognate of our “cosy”.

The murderers may go out and do despicable things before heading home for a quiet cuppa and a nuzzle with someone dear.

Hopefully this isn’t you, dear reader. Please enjoy this time, and head into 2017 with hope in your heart, a smile on your beautiful lips, and a song in your throat ready to greet the world.

 

*It has always seemed to me that Hamlet has been unfairly maligned for his supposed inability to act. On the contrary he was plainly a genius who overcame many obstacles to avenge the murder of his father and clean up a corrupt regime, though he was thwarted and died in the attempt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Unmanageability – a guide for advanced practitioners, taken from Shakespeare

Dear reader: If you don’t know by now that next April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, well – you actually do!

It will be a wonderful occasion – after all those years, and the countless words spilt on innumerable pages, real and surreal, he remains the greatest writer ever, and that is saying a lot. Not everything he wrote had the golden touch of his best but in a relatively short life, he produced so much outstanding literature it is difficult to credit, though it is true.

It is also true that there is a lot that is unknown about Shakespeare. That has allowed people who should know better to create fabulous alternative authors, from Bacon to other nobles otherwise unheard of. Not too long ago the film Anonymous put just such a case. Trying to be as generous of spirit as possible, that is complete rubbish.

Shakespeare wrote some of his plays with others, but it did not take long for him to be regarded as the senior partner in that kind of enterprise. He had a gift that was just astonishing, even to his peers. It is also true that theatrical practice at the time meant companies “woodshedded” their productions. Shakespeare as an actor as well as playwright would have taken a full part in these and no doubt there would have been changes to lines and scenes as a result. Plays were more of a collaborative enterprise then than they typically are today. That is a very far cry from a secret author cunningly slipping scripts to an otherwise undistinguished actor and entrepreneur.

Shakespeare’s work seems inexhaustibly multifaceted. A few of his plays have been portrayed as both comedies and tragedies, and I’ve written a blog post about this (“Toiling with Troilus”), but more nuanced interpretations of his work allows for remarkably wide-ranging productions. Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet credably set the famous romance in modern Venice, California’s gang turf (to be fair, Bernstein’s West Side Story did the same on New York streets without crediting the Bard). Productions change their historical garb with remarkable ease, and make their cases to be understood and appreciated.

Even so, there are those who don’t like him.

Recently I had a brief conversation with a dramatist and actor who found him “too wordy”. Wow! It reminded me of the joke about someone who saw a production of Hamlet and was bored – “It’s full of cliches”.

An Irish critic titled a book on the plays Shakespeare is hard – but so is life. What was easy for readers and viewers to comprehend in Shakespeare’s lifetime now needs guidance to fully appreciate. But to suggest he is boring is just wrong. Part of the reason for the bard’s success was that he did it all – actor, theatre impresario, writer – so knew how to put “bums on seats” in competition with other attractions seeking punters’ pennies – bear-baiting for example. The groundlings – illterate kids and the like – needed excitement and Shakespeare gave it to them. The literate wanted more, and they got it too. But for us, changes in our spoken and written language and in theatre convention really mean using critical editions, and then our brains, to get what is there to be got.

There really is a very great deal. In “Toiling with Troilus” I’ve tried to show my appreciation of Troilus and Cressida, a play even many educated people have never heard of. This time I’d like to wander around Hamlet, arguably the world’s best-known dramatic work, and in its “existentialist” cloth, as fresh and relevant as when actors first trod the boards reciting the lines.

Discovering the “real” Hamlet is a detective story and no single explanation or text is ever likely to please everyone. Harold Jenkins’ wonderful Arden edition is my favourite and persuasively suggests that one printed edition, from Germany, was actually an inaccurate theft – a so-called memorial reconstruction – by one of the actors who appeared in the first production of the play. Jenkins even shows the role played by the actor who was the thief, as the man remembered the lines of the play closest to his own, and flubbed those where he was not involved. There is more in Jenkins’ absorbing account.

It is a commonplace to say that Hamlet the character was indecisive. That is not entirely fair. Hamlet was caught in a difficult situation. His father the king had died suddenly and he, the inheriting son, was deprived of the crown by his uncle, who had married his mother with unseemly haste after his father’s death. Brooding on this, he is confronted by the ghost of his father who says he’s been murdered, and insists on revenge.

Rationalist that he is, Hamlet needs to decide whether this vision is real or not, and if real, whether it might be a trick by a demon rather than a true visitation by his departed father. He cleverly lays a trap for his uncle to find out, meantime feigning madness to keep the villain guessing. Once he realises the truth, he passes up the opportunity to kill the uncle at prayer as it was believed that was a ticket to hell, and in the end only manages to exact revenge at the cost of the kingdom to the Swedes, his own life, the lives of his betrothed Ophelia, her brother Laertes and their  father, the pompous Polonius.

What presses on Hamlet all this time are circumstances beyond his control. He is not helpless, but he cannot manage what comes at him.

This is a very contemporary dilemma. The so-called 12-step programmes used to recover today by sufferers of complaints ranging from alcoholism and drug addiction to food issues and more begin by sufferers saying they had admitted powerlessness in the face of their addiction “and that our lives had become unmanageable”. That first step however only introduces a stark reality of “recovery” – at no point in the remaining 11 steps does life become “manageable”. Instead it is necessary to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him”.

Life thus remains unmanageable by the sufferer alone. As Catholic theologian Richard Rohr emphasises, life is only managed through turning to a force greater than oneself, a “higher power”. When I jest with my friends that my tiny bubble of the universe is “completely unmanageable” my tongue is firmly in my cheek but. . .

Seen coldly, life – life, not one’s daily chores – is ultimately unmanageable for everyone. However much we might think we are taking care of everything, the reality is that everything is actually taking care of us. Whatever we think we are doing, in the end, we end. As Celine’s most famous aphorism put it, “The truth of this life is death”.* Celine endlessly mocked the perverse delusions of madly avoiding confronting the truth about our lives and ourselves.

Hamlet, something of a genius, nimble as nimble could be, is nonetheless overwhelmed by a chain of challenges that finally destroys him. As he avoids one calamity after another, he dismisses as foolishness the looming presence of the cunning son of the Swedish king, who uses an excuse to entrap and ultimately subjugate the Danes. Honoring the fallen prince fits in perfectly with the Swede’s perfidious plan.

The tragedy of Hamlet is not that he cannot bring himself to act, but that he feels unable to act –  trapped in a web of circumstance that try as he might, he cannot shake loose. The famous “To be or not be” speech is a meditation in the face of this harsh reality of trying to “take arms against a sea of troubles” and end them at the price of losing his life, or surviving but enduring that sea. Hamlet wants to live, and he wants to exact revenge, but his own cunning plan comes to nothing though he manages to kill his uncle in the mist of a general slaughter.

Hamlet is a brilliantly constructed play and is full of wonderful lines that have kept their magic for more than 400 years now. Many of these are mysterious**, still the subject of conjecture, while others resonate within us for their wisdom. A good production shows that life really is unmanageable – by us. The Great Dane barks up the wrong tree by trying to handle it all himself.

Of course, it is pretty wordy. ..and full of cliches.

Thanks for reading.

*Celine used this famous phrase first in his doctoral thesis on the physician Semmelweis, who discovered the principles of antisepsis at the cost of his own life. Celine then plagiarised himself in this first novel, Journey to the end of night.

** “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Suddenly…

…yes you wait ages for a post and then another pops in just as you had moved on to something really exciting. OK, I know you weren’t waiting and am just making myself feel a bit better.

This book I have maybe almost finished, or almost got ready to bin – did not have a title when I wrote the first draft of this post. It does now. The ones supplied by my intrepid readers somehow didn’t fit, or not fit in the right, Trainspotting, kind of way and I had to wait till one popped into my head. From there it needed to work its way onto the tip of my tongue, and then – shazam! This is my post, and I’ll say this if I want to say it – it is sure to be greeted by wild cheering throngs mounting tickertape parades as an astonished planet reels from…OK, enough.

Someone I have a high regard for read one of my earlier books and termed it “weird”. Well, it is. My books are both like and unlike the thriller genre they have till now flitted around in and as they buzz near the edges of definition and desirability, they reveal that they are, truly, a bit strange – unlike their peers while (still my post, OK?) meeting the requirements of the genre. That is part of my “schtick”, to be the same and not the same. So far, it hasn’t worked for me, even a little bit. I don’t write that way – it is how things turn out as I work them out, and write them. This writing lark is a mystery to its practitioners, or it is to me. But even if by design, the crowds in the earlier paragraph have turned up only to turn up their noses and buzz off home.

This one however while moseying along contentedly in thriller country, somehow roamed a bit farther into very dark forests of the imagination to come out in new territory for me, and the crowds might turn up to take a second sniff. It is – depending on how you like to define things – a ghost story, paranormal, and/or ridiculous. It really is weird, even to me. I thought so as I was working it out, thought it while I was writing it, and I think so now. All the same, I think its weirdness is not at all bad.

The idea of writing a ghost story came from something almost unrelated that happened to me in Scotland last year. Then before I ever thought of a plot, I read a number of books and stories featuring ghosts, including one by Thorne Smith (his first Topper book; I had already read the second, and Night Life of the Gods, my fave), and a Douglas Adams special with a ghost who had something of the quality I think is natural. I watched films with aliens and ghosts. I read and/or reread stuff about metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, and reincarnation…and the religions and philosophies surrounding these fascinating ideas. And while I was thinking about these things, I was also reading and thinking about the Romans, the Huns, the Goths, Edward Gibbon, Attila for it was he, the Holocaust and the “war in the East”, and my favourite writers – Euripides! Yes! Alcestis*…if you haven’t read the Ted Hughes version of this you really should…but also Medea…! And Shakespeare…Hamlet! Ghost dad tells the kid he’s not making it…and finally, and really importantly, Dostoevsky. As I have written, “Bobok”, a short story, was in my head…but along with that the appearance of the Devil in Brothers Karamazov. Wow!

Wait! There’s more! Celine’s last trilogy gets its impetus from a whole boatload of ghosts, in the first part, Castle to Castle! Charon’s boat, the one who ferries the dead across to their place…the passengers have to go get money before they are allowed to board** but when they do, that Charon whacks them with an oar, splits their heads in two when he doesn’t just mash them up into gruesome glop! Celine knows some of the crew…and has a chat…it’s all fine…kind of…

So you see, even if I go into the serious literature part of the universe, where I actually fear to tread as a writer at least until now***, ghosts abound…evil creatures with them too…deceptive Devil in old clothes and no teeth…and my ghosts? Are they informed by this pantheon of greatness and frivolity? Yes, they are. Do they measure up? Aw…so far, I don’t think so. But I haven’t finished, quite yet.

And the title? Here it is! Attila’s angels…it worked its way from my brain, jumped onto my tongue, and then flew out onto the page! No need to write! Ghosts!

Must get out on the balcony to watch the parade^…have to fix a bit of the book but the title works for me, so I hope it works for you…

Thanks for reading.

*Hughes’ version of this is amazing and when you consider his life, it is even more amazing.
**The old Greeks put a coin, known as an obol on the tongue of the departed to pay for their passage…Celine was riffing on this.
*** Next time, I’m thinking…
^Don’t have a balcony, but there is a deck…

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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…but I digress…part one!

Those who read this blog regularly will know that Shakespeare is to me the greatest of all writers, and while I count myself lucky to be a native speaker of the language he used – though it is much changed since his day, for sure – I know that many people who speak other languages were also mesmerised by the bard, presumably in translation. Giuseppe Verdi, for example, wrote three operas based on the plays: Otello, Macbeth and Falstaff, and was working on a version of Merry Wives of Windsor when he was commissioned to write Rigoletto. The plays and film versions have been produced in every European language and more…Macbeth for example was used by  Japanese director Akira Kurosawa for his Throne of Blood starring Toshiro Mifune.

Of course practically everyone knows Shakespeare at least as a name, but it is surprising how few of the people I know – people I respect and admire – are really familiar with even his most famous works. Irish critic Fintan O’Toole puts this down to the truth that you actually have to work at Shakespeare, and wrote a book called  Shakespeare is hard, but so is life. Really getting into the plays and poems to the point where they become fascinating  needs some application, and it is not at all fair  to blame people whose lives are full to bursting for not wishing to apply it.

Still it would be great for them, I reckon, if they would…In a few years on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of his death, the world will be awash with new productions, including no doubt a BBC reworking of all the plays There will be new films,  symposia and lectures and books-a-go-go groaning with photos, maps, etchings, line drawings, abstract squiggles by chimps, the rehashes of the known facts and heaps and heaps of speculation. Shakespeare’s sexuality will get a proper thrashing…Maybe all that secondary fru-fru will set people onto it, onto him. For Shakespeare for our time, once encountered by an inquiring mind goes beyond a mere man, past even a great writer. He is an adventurous journey once begun lasts a lifetime.

Let me show how this can work. Anyone who wants can get a copy of Hamlet in the Arden edition edited by Harold Jenkins. This is not the most recent edition in this excellent series, but it serves very well to illustrate my point and was termed in a rival edition “magisterial”, so I am not alone in suggesting it is worthwhile..

Jenkins’ introduction spans about 160 pages, and is as much a detective story as anything Agatha Christie ever wrote. There were three versions of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s lifetime and immediately after – two “quarto” standalone editions and the version in the first folio of the collected plays. Not only is there the question of which text is the better one, there is also the problem of “collation” – the compositors of the time all made mistakes, misreading words, mis-spelling them, leaving them out. Jenkins shows pretty conclusively that one of the quartos was actually a pirate edition “memorially reconstructed” by someone who acted in it.* And going beyond that to the wider questions of what this play is about, why it was written the way it was, and when, what the sources were for the writer, what allusions classical (“pagan”) and Biblical, what the arguments are between the experts about these things.

Then, as if that is not enough, Jenkins gives his take on the great passages, the characters and more in a series of longer notes at the back taking up some 150 or so pages.

And in the text itself, word choices and meanings and other problematical textual issues are dealt with on the page where they occur.

So this is not merely a play that one can get on DVD, or go to a theatre and see, expecting to gain full measure. Suddenly Shakespeare becomes as a lover, once only an acquaintance, clothed and hidden in so many ways, now revealed by love naked beside you…beautiful, challenging, tempting, inspiring, open to you to engage and explore and enjoy, if you are lucky, for as long you both draw breath.

And Hamlet, though Shakespeare’s best known and longest play, is but one enticing feature of this endlessly beautiful and fascinating corpus. Each not only pays studying, and reading and enjoyment in performance (and if one is lucky enough, enjoyment as part of a performance), but repays all these…and the further in you go, the deeper you want to go. At least with the great works – not all of Shakespeare’s plays were great – fresh attendance to the marvel reveals new ways of seeing…

…and those “ways of seeing” are what makes Shakespeare the genius he was/is. Beautiful words, terrific expressions, fantastic stories, and the rest would be meaningless if they were but sweetish froth on the surface of our lives. The bard penetrated deeply into what it means to be alive. He doesn’t grow old; he is constantly renewed in our minds, hearts and spirits.

More to come. There always is…

* So great has been the fascination with Shakespeare that the compositors of the first folio are known by their work – how many there were and which bits each set in type – the role(s) this intellectual pirate took in the production has been doped out by which bits he got pretty well, and which were glosses.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Something even more completely different

This blog is about writing, and for the most part it’s been about the writers and thinkers who have influenced me as I’ve gone along. There are more of these than I’ve written about so far, but rehashing the past, while interesting to me and I would hope to those who drop in to read these slim offerings, is not going forward really.And my thinking has been zapping along in different directions lately prompted by all these posts about the past.My new book, which is just shy of 50,000 words, has the working title of Kaos. Its theme came to me while I was working on my previous book, The Russian Idea, which dealt a lot with Russian religious philosophy, in particular the thinking and beliefs of Dostoevsky and Nikolai Berdyaev. Berdyaev wrote a book with the same title as my novel.Over about a year before and while writing The Russian Idea I read a lot of Dostoevsky and Berdyaev that I had not read for a long time, or had never read: Berdyaev was a very prolific writer and I read or reread at least ten of his books, and many of his articles, while reintroducing myself to Dostoevsky through several of his masterpieces and newly through his journalism, and some biographical accounts. Sinking into a writer or thinker in this way can give the feeling for the mind of the person in a way that reading a single book, or reading a book now and again, can not do. My immersion therapies in writers and thinkers tell me that you can come to feel you really do understand what was going on in the mind of the person…and when you don’t, when you are troubled, prompts you to keep going. There is a nagging feeling that something eludes me about Shakespeare, and that adds to the mystery of the man, and encourages me to keep reading him, and about him, and his time, and the intellectual movements associated with him, or even alleged to be associated with him. Ditto “secretive” writers like B Traven and Celine.

There is a lot to this: questions of language, its “grammar” and history, of translation, of attitude, of cultural nuance and perceptions, and the more you go into it, the deeper you go, the more amazing it turns out to be. Take one example of this: “a” v “he”:

In the Arden edition of Hamlet edited by Harold Jenkins, there are numerous examples of “a” when “he” or “it” is meant. In a note, Jenkins says the “a” is a colloquial rendering of “ha” for “he” that was common in Elizabethan drama. To get this, both the “a” and the “ha”, to bring it into oneself, to live with it, so that one reads or hears it spoken in performance as natural and “correct” (because it is), is to bring the Elizabethan age, in this intimate if tiny aspect, into one’s heart through imaginative understanding. As I have written in an earlier post, it means not only that Shakespeare reaches out across the centuries to communicate with us, but that through this kind of understanding, we are able to “talk back”, to respond creatively. It’s teriffic! It’s thrilling! We are taken out of our time, delving deeply in another, only to find, when we surface, that we are in our own place but with an enriched understanding that spans the centuries while telling us something about “now” and about ourselves. That’s what being “universal” – “for all time” as Jonson had it about Shakespeare – means, sez me.

This is a long way around to get into the aura of Dostoevsky and Berdyaev that I was living in while writing The Russian Idea but may help explain how while writing that book, I was prompted to want to write another one by my feeling for the moral universe of this pair, in particular Dostoevsky, and to want to write a book something like he might want to write today (so say I) – not in terms of his genius, which of course I do not share, but in terms of his concerns, which I do, even if I find some of his urges unpalatable.

This is not the first time one of my books has been prompted by a previous one. The Kleiber Monsterled me to write another book, Tobi’s Gift (unpublished) because I felt I had not dealt with something frontally enough. And that led me into new places that prompted Savonarola’s Bones.

Demented, however, the book that followed Savonarola’s Bones, was not prompted by its predecessor, but sprang out of another set of concerns and experiences. What this says to me is that each successive novel is not, or not necessarily, the “sum” of an author’s life to that point – in style, in theme or focus or what have you, it may not only not be an advance, but may even be worse than earlier work, and often a “sideways shift” into something new and different, but not necessarily better. Second novels are said to be the most difficult books for fiction writers, as the first one may all but leap from the mind to the page, and many second efforts are disappointing to the public as well as to the writer. Evilheart, my second novel (the first is unpublished), was very hard to write, and despite many revisions over a decade, is far from perfect. Though I think in some aspects it is an excellent book, in others it remains very disappointing to me.

But even later works can be poor. Raymond Chandler’s last book for example must have been an embarrassment to him, and is certainly so to his memory. Any writer would – or at least should – find that worrying. Certainly Kaos is worrying me in that sense: much of the first draft seems quite shockingly written, and I know that later drafts are going to be pretty hard work if the thing is going to be worth reading, and hence worth bringing into public view.

So I am not sure about this one. The premise is good, and as with my other books, has something to say about the world around us and how we might navigate our way through the sometimes tortuous moral maze that can be any individual’s life: the choices that confront us, the temptations we are asked to avoid, or invited to sink ourselves into, never to emerge…as I write, I am not sure if the anti-hero becomes a hero, or if he is a hero who becomes an anti-hero: this delicate balance is something that ultimately is going to define the book, and understanding how to express both of these elements of the human personality warring within an individual, so that one emerges at the end to vanquish the other, is the greatest challenge in writing I have ever faced: words that, as it were, “face both ways”. Is that Dostoevsky peering over my shoulder, shaking his head in vigorous disapproval, wagging his finger at my poor offerings? Perhaps. I am trying my best, Fyodor! What’s that you say?

If you are reading this, you can award as many stars to yourself as you wish, provided that none of them is purple.

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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in random chatter, Uncategorized

 

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