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Thursday, 14 February 2013

                 WINTER   2013
Work for Week 7

Write an opening to a story or other text in which the speaker is extremely casual and slangy and self-confident (at least on the surface).  The model here  is everyday conversation, and so is similar to the conversational story some of us looked at previously.     Just start with the narrator talking and focus on his chat, and see if you find some kind of story, poem, or other text emerging from the CHARACTER, and try and HEAR who the character is from the way s/he chatters.

One approach to this is Catcher in the Rye, where part of the interest is the voice, tone and ‘attitude’ of the narrator.  The story seems to come out of the character, as it were.

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HEAR about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They're quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They're nice and all. I'm not saying that-but they're also touchy as hell. Besides, I'm not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I'll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy. I mean that's all I told D.B. about, and he's my brother and all. He's in Hollywood.

This is by Mickey Spillane from Girl Hunters

They found me in the gutter. The night was the only thing I had left and not much of it at that. I heard the car stop, the doors open and shut and two voices talking. A pair of arms jerked me to my feet and held me there.
"Drunk," the cop said.
The other one turned me around into the light. "He don't smell bad. That cut on his head didn't come from a fall either."
I didn't give a damn which way they called it. They were both wrong anyhow. Two hours ago I was drunk. Not now. Two hours ago I was a roaring lion. Then the bottle sailed across the room. No lion left now.
Now was a time when I wasn't anything.    Nothing was left inside except the feeling a ship must have when it's torpedoed, sinks and hits bottom.

Or even  T S Eliot

I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

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