Wednesday, July 10, 2024

one done

Well, I've finished my paper for Mythcon in three weeks. That will give me time to write the shorter presentations for the two or three (I'm not sure if the third one has been confirmed) panels that I'm on.

I've written several papers on "the minor Inklings" over the years, and decided that this was the year I was going to complete my long-mooted intent to write one on John Wain. At which point, especially when describing this orally, I have to confirm that that's WAIN not WAYNE and that they have nothing to do with each other. John Wain was a pupil of C.S. Lewis's whom he invited to the Inklings, but he didn't really fit in and much of my paper is about why. As a writer, he's faded into complete obscurity today, but on a time when Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim was first published, Wain's Hurry on Down came out almost simultaneously and was much discussed with it. They're remarkably similar novels in some respects, completely different in others. Amis and Wain had gone to the same college in Oxford at sort of the same time, and were friends. At least then; later their friendship decayed, mostly because Amis thought Wain was a pompous git. He wasn't entirely wrong.

Writing this paper went very fast, because I'd been holding most of it in my head for years. This includes summary characterizations of some of Wain's novels, which I read some 20 years ago but haven't forgotten. I got the books out to check the facts, but only afterwards.

Of course the first thing I did on completing the draft was to read it aloud to see how long it was. 40 minutes: that's about the maximum I can get away with without cuts. This procedure has the further advantage of bringing out verbal infelicities for correction.

No comments:

Post a Comment