18 September 2006

Tardy and Tempted

Anguished Alliteration

I'd not heard of skittish scribbler Amanda McKittrick Ros but she sounds a fount of fun.

Her novels "provided the entertainment at gatherings of the Inklings, a group of Oxford dons including Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien who met from the 1930s to 1950s. They competed to see who could read her work aloud for longest before starting to laugh."

Her novel are out of print - Irene Iddesleigh, Delina Delany and Helen Huddleston - but not for long, I'll be bound, thanks to exultant exposure at the "Celebrate Literary Belfast" festival.

A sample:

"The trials of a tortured throng are naught when weighed in the balance of future anticipations ... The living sometimes learn the touchy tricks of the traitor, the tardy and the tempted; the dead have evaded the flighty earthy future, and form to swell the retinue of retired rights, the righteous school of the invisible and the rebellious roar of the raging nothing."

"Flighty earthy future", eh? There's some good imagery for the speech writers to reach for next time Dubya needs a surly bonds line with which to mourn the prang of some spacecraft.

Quoth Frank Ormsby, editor of the invitingly titled anthology of her work, Thine in Storm and Cabin,

"She alliterated obsessively. Even if one has forgotten her work for a few years, you only have to read a few paragraphs and you find the smile broadening on your face. You begin to realise why her work had such an appeal."

No comments :