Thursday, 28 July 2016

Interesting Words, Horror, and Pipeline Theatre, by Enid Richemont

Recently I was given this delightful book by my daughter who thought (quite rightly) that it would amuse me. LOST IN TRANSLATION, by Ella Frances Sanders, is a collection of single words  describing mostly, but not always, familiar situations for which, in English, we'd use several. There is, for example: MURR-MA, from an almost extinct Australian language, which means searching for things under water with your feet.
     There is the lovely-sounding TIAM, in Farsi, meaning the twinkle in your eyes when you meet someone special, and on the downside: KUMMERSPECK, in German, which literally translates as 'grief-bacon', meaning the excess weight gained by emotional over-eating. The illustrations are fun, too - do check it out.

For authors specialising in crime and horror,how are you responding to recent global events which seem to surpass anything dreamed up in a novel? Which of us, writing futuristic fantasy twenty or so years ago, would have invented a lethal and brutal theocracy? Margaret Atwood in THE HANDMAID'S TALE comes close, and I'm sure there must be others, but sometimes I feel I'm actually living inside a horror movie.
     I'm sure the late and much-lamented Ruth Rendell would have done something amazing with this - her deep knowledge and understanding of disturbed minds would be so illuminating right now, because this is a sect which actively recruits psychopaths. So how do you write in times of horror? I think of the First World War poets, and the literature that came out of the Holocaust, and as readers, we still care about individual deaths, and we continue to care about the reasons why. Below is a copy of my recent post on Facebook in response to the inevitably ominous: 'News Coming In'. A fantasy, of course, but who knows? And I can 'see' the pictures, and that laughing baby.


THERE IS NEWS COMING IN OF MULTIPLE ATTACKS OF LOVING KINDNESS IN ALL MAJOR CITIES. THE POLICE ARE MONITORING THE SITUATION, BUT IT SEEMS THEY CAN'T STOP HUGGING EACH OTHER, AND ATTEMPTS AT BOMBING INSURGENTS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA HAVE ONLY RESULTED IN DANDELION CLOCKS. NO GROUPS HAVE YET CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE ATTACKS, WHICH ARE SPREADING, BUT THE MAIN SUSPECT SEEMS TO BE A BABY WHO'S JUST LAUGHED FOR THE FIRST TIME.

My Cornish family's theatre company - PipelineTheatre.com - will be in Edinburgh with a brand new production: SWIVELHEAD - in August. For those of you already impressed by TRANSPORTS and SPILLIKINS - this will be a treat. For others who don't yet know them, if you're in Edinburgh you're in for a treat.

2 comments:

Fran B said...

I found 'ost in Translation' some time ago and love it. I sometimes use it for posts on my FaceBook author page if I don't have much else newsworthy or any new pieces of writing that I want to air. I loved 'kummerspeck' too and, as a native Scot, particularly appreciated 'SGRIOB' = the peculiar itchiness that settles on the upper lip before taking a sip of whisky. Know it well.

And who doesn't relate to TREPVERTER = a witty riposte or comeback that you think of only when it is too late to use it. (Literally means 'staircase words')

Enid Richemont said...

TREPVERTER is what I too frequently suffer from.