Steve, new member, was already waiting. He brought a reading about a physically disabled character who divested himself of any disguise socially. He was very good on everybody else’s writing too, including mine. Kevin for once arrived early enough to hear me read out a complicated bit of ‘the book’ dealing with the relationship of spirit with body where, because Johnny is displaced by his man in dialogue with his mum, he and his mum are at cross purposes, compounded further by the man’s mimicking or quoting a dialogue between Johnny and his mother about skeletons in the family cupboard. John Elliott, too cataracted to read, therefore unable to pick up subliminally on the quotation marks within speech punctuation, was lost. Even Jacqui, who could read, was confused. John goes on about signposting, like spoonfeeding babies, and Kevin agrees with this. I don’t care how readers relate since each does it their own way. (‘Their’ has added singularity to its use.) He thinks I’m Joycean. I like his Irish poetic, comic patter of a book, becoming confused myself at two nuns I thought acerbically talking to his heroine Mary when she was remembering what they’d said. The others got that without the benefit of something to read.
Jacqui read out John’s contribution from Human Pages which also had an intrusive passage like my man’s quoting, without signposting it heavily, or Kevin’s character’s memory nun quotation. but John’s was a passage from a book his character was reading to find out about the character assigned to her for recreative role=playing. Jacqui read out her essay against genre categorisation, giving examples of writers who transcended those assigned to them, whether gay or Christian.
Before, there was a lot from John on his small publisher who’d sold only forty books of ten titles and was in financial straits. Afterwards I inserted Yvann’s comical assertion. His mother’s turned Moslem. With her, because he’s quadroon, he’s taken for a Moslem. I paraphrased his original indignation, “I’m as prejudiced against Moslems as any Englishman!”