Friday, 6 November 2009

Simon Armitage - The Twilight Readings

I am a big fan of Simon Armitage's writing, and I have been browsing through The Twilight Readings, a short volume of readings which he gave while writer in residence at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Armitage is always an interesting poet, whether writing his own verse or translating the classics into contemporary language, and in his prose he is a wry and humorous story teller. The Twilight Readings is no exception, as in this excerpt from the start of a short story:

"The Apprentice

So George has this theory: the first thing we ever steal, when we're young, is a symbol of what we become later in life, when we grow up. Example: when he was nine he stole a Mont Blanc fountain pen from a fancy gift shop in a hotel lobby - now he's an award winning novelist. We test this theory around the table and it seems to check out. Clint stole a bottle of cooking sherry, now he owns a Tapas Bar. Kirsty's an investment banker and she stole money from her mother's purse. Tod took a Curly Wurly and he's morbidly obese."

The story subsequently takes a slightly sinister turn for the worse, but it still sounds like an interesting party game, and Armitage without doubt would be a very entertaining guest.

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