Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Art is strange.
But life is stranger.
Last Saturday - the 8th - I attended the Blog Lab event on Portland Street. I didn't get to hear about it until the last minute (that always happens, what a writer does is write, not attend writerly events!).

My jaw actually dropped open when what I'm about to tell you happened. I just sat there, rooted to the spot, jaw hanging like a prehistoric mammal's, I swear. It was like I was watching a short movie in which I had acted against my wish:

There on the stage, was a woman who came up during one of the breaks between the sessions, to read from her work. Her work. It wasn't until a minute or so into her reading that I began to think that what I was hearing sounded very familiar. IT WAS MY FRIGGIN' NOVEL! My kidnapped novel.

Right before my eyes - and ears - was my novel being read by this whiny-voiced, over-madeup woman (a mouse's voice, a tiger's claws, and a peacock's costume) AS HER OWN.

I've never publicly given any details about my kidnapped novel, but after what happened on Saturday, I need to let the world know about it, in this crazy Age of professional plagiarizers and stuff like that. It's titled HANGMEN AND HANGOVERS. The first few lines in it read as follows (I'm writing this from memory, the only copy I had is what went missing) (went missing):

She fired six shots. She doesn't know how many bullets emerged from the gun. She doesn't know how many hit Target. She has never been good at Math, at proportions or probabilities or percentages (I can't remember in what order the 'p' words were). All she knows is that Target 1 hit the ground with a thud. Victim 1.

That's the portion that I heard this woman read. But I didn't have a voice recorder, so I couldn't record it. And now, in the days since then, I have started to wonder if I wasn't hallucinating. Perhaps what she was reading only sounded like my novel...

Why didn't I accost her immediately afterwards?

If my l__dlord's wife (whom this woman resembles) is anything to go by, the biggest mistake of my life (apart from being careless with Hangmen) would have been to accost and/or accuse her in public. I know her type. They will make mince-meat of any imagined or observed threat. They operate on purely animal defenses.

I have to be smart, keep my ears and eyes open, approach this like a detective. This town is a small one. I will get to the bottom of this!


sarah said...

I think you have at two options:
a) pretend to be a fan
b) pretend to be in love with her
c) pretend to be an assassin with her as your target 1

I think you have the responsibility of writers worldwide to face up to this peacock and rip her tail and eyelashes up into bits smaller than fullstops. Unveil the thief!

R.E.II™ said...

I don't know how much you know about art or if you are really an artist. You need to try reading barthes music, images and text. Attention was brought to the issue you raise here where an author produced work using anothers but it well fitted into his than the others. Another analogy is this: have you heard Appregi by Radio head, if you haven't, go and listen to it. You will see how it starts with the beats in one of fela kuti's tunes. Your mystery is very interesting. Good blog though

Nik's Blog said...

I think you should call the police! It is theft! Intellectual theft!