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Shirley Jackson ‘The Lottery and Other Stories’

Shirley Jackson, The Lottery and Other Stories, is published by Penguin Classics.  That can mean the book is quite old. It does seem to be, with the stories I’ve read so far being set in post-Second World War America, or it could mean a guarantee of quality. An imprint that says – this is really good.

The book is in five sections, with short stories in each section. I’ve finished section one and started on section two. My feeling was of claustrophobia. This was small town American life squeezed between the pages. In the opening story, ‘The Intoxicated’, for example, a drunk is at a party. He knows his way around the house, but is taking a breather from all that merriment and the daughter of the party-giver, half his age comes and sits with him. That’s the story, more or less. I was waiting for more.

The second story ‘The Daemon Lover’ is good. If I had a big red marker pen in my hand I’d give it a B1+.  Janine, at the beginning of the story, is getting married that morning. She’s fussing over what she’ll do and what she’ll wear. The narrative lets us know that her intended thinks she’s thirty, when in fact, she’s thirty-four years old, a virtual spinster of the parish. The morning rolls on. He doesn’t turn up. By afternoon she begins looking for him. He’s not there, but he’s a step ahead of her. She follows the path of where he might have been and ends up where he might be. Ambiguity is the key.

In ‘Trial by Combat’ Emily Johnson is staying in a room house. Small things, like a nickel-and-dime hatpin,  from her room keep going missing. She thinks she knows the culprit, but goes at it obliquely. She asks the elderly woman that lives downstairs ‘Mrs Allen’ for her advice. Mrs Allen explains that all the keys in their rooming house are old-fashioned. They can open each of the doors in the rooming house. When Emily Johnson is found with her hand in one of the drawers of Mrs Allen’s room she has some explaining to do. I liked this one. The way it panned out.

Some of the other stories I didn’t like. I’m guessing that ‘My Life With R.H.Macy’ is autobiographical.   The narrator is asked ‘I’m in lingerie, what are you in?’ The story is an extended motif explaining why she’s not really in anything and she’s not really just another number. How ridiculous to think that way. Good idea. Shite story.

Too many of the stories I’ve read so far don’t do much for me. I’ve got to ‘The Renegade’ and won’t be plodding any further.

http://unbound.co.uk/books/lily-poole

 

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Marvellous BBC 2, 9pm.

Marvellous BBC 2, 9pm.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04jmx7l/marvellous

 

Marvellous really was marvellous. Writer Peter Bowker mines magic and Toby Jones performance playing Neil Baldwin was not outdone by the appearance of the real-life, but older, Neil Baldwin. If you’ve not seen it, give yourself a treat and watch – and listen.

There’s some natty hymns. Neil’s mum was a committed Christian. It gave her life meaning. Her son Neil took it a stage further. Ask and you’ll be given was a mantra he lived by. He wanted to be a clown and join the circus. So he did. He wanted to go to University. So he did. He wanted to meet Tony Benn and sit with the judges at the Oxford and Cambridge boat race. He wanted to start his own football team and play for the club he loved, Stoke City.  He did. He did. He did. One thing he didn’t believe in was getting down-hearted.

There’s a cameo from Lou Macari, meeting the actor that plays Lou Macari, the Stoke manager that took Neil on as Stoke City kit man. When Macari left Stoke (to manage Celtic) Neil gets to play in a testimonial match and scores a wonderful headed goal. ‘That’s how it happened?’ the actor who played Neil asks the -real- Neil and a ‘No’ is the answer.

‘I’m doing well am’t I?’ is the only time Neil wobbles, after his mum dies.  Neil isn’t doing well. His life has been ended. But he picks himself up again and again. With the help of Gary Lineker he starts a football team. Neil models himself on Cloughie, firm but fair. He’s the manager, but also the central midfielder. Any penalties, Neil takes them. Neil reminded me – reminds me – of Clarence from A Wonderful Life. Yes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04jmx7l/marvellous

http://unbound.co.uk/books/lily-pooleclarence a wonderful life

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You Can’t Take Away a Nation.

You can’t take away how we grow.

But that is how it seems.

What the fuck do you know?

Cameron, Clegg, Miliband, cui bono?

Bollinger babblers and Oxbridge dupes,

Business — mode with the usual crooks.

Plus is a minus of that we know.

Dreamers are not in demand.

What the fuck do you know?

Let our earth grow fallow.

St Andrews Cross in a shared land.

You can’t take away how we grow.

Governing goslings talk Jim Crow,

Liberty, social justice and inequality.

What the fuck do you know?

The devil of mocking laughter.

Mealy old age we watched it go.

You can’t take away how we grow.

What the fuck do you know?