Literally Reruns – Bibliophilia by Martyn Clayton

Indefatigable that’s what Leila Allison is and as the earth turns on it’s axis to carry us into winter she pulls on her gloves and boots and carries on foraging in the darkest reaches of LS Towers catacombs. She sends us these some weeks before you good readers have the chance to see them and we are really grateful for her rootling and scrabbling – it plays havoc with her manicure. This time she has come up with a story by Martyn Clayton and this is what she said:

We all want to inherit money. It’s the stuff that makes the world go round. Yet we refuse to acknowledge that the concept of monetary wealth is imaginary. If human society were to go kaput, any survivors would value useful goods (in my case the contents of the abandoned liquor stores, pharmacies and pet shops) and leave the suddenly emptied stacks lay.

Mr. Clayton’s Bibliophilia features a young woman named Charlotte (just call her “Lottie”) who inherits her grandfather’s immense library upon his death. The others got money, Charlotte was gifted something that had been loved. The others encourage Lottie to sell the collection, for her flat is small and grandfather isn’t in position to mind. Yet one should suspect that Lottie knows that art cannot be drained of its blood the same way money can. And although both money and art are works of imagination, one was forced upon us while the other is human and there for the taking or leaving.

Let’s pepper Mr. Clayton with nosey questions.

Q: I enjoyed the way Charlotte’s character slowly emerged then flowered. Was it difficult to find room for her to grow and still supply the necessary details in this short piece?

Q: I collect books. Other than nasty notices from the landlord regarding my smoking indoors, books are what I have most of. I hate the idea of technology shrinking personal and public libraries. What are your thoughts on the subject?

Leila Allison

***

Bibliophilia 

Martyn’s Responses:

Q: I enjoyed the way Charlotte’s character slowly emerged then flowered. Was it difficult to find room for her to grow and still supply the necessary details in this short piece?
I think I wanted to explore how Charlotte was made by the bone structure of her family experience and as a young woman was choosing to locate herself within it. The closeness to her grandfather was the key point, a large compelling figure who inspired both affection and wariness. It would have been easy for her character to be lost beneath the weight of all that family history. How we negotiate the stories that we inherit and shape us is key to who we become. I knew that she didn’t want to sink without a trace into her family stories and keeping that in mind helped with her development in the story. Also her position as arbitrator between the different sides of her family created a space for her in the story.
Q: I collect books. Other than nasty notices from the landlord regarding my smoking indoors, books are what I have most of. I hate the idea of technology shrinking personal and public libraries. What are your thoughts on the subject?
We’ve moved house twice this year and that’s really brought home just how cumbersome a book collection can be! That said, I really wouldn’t want to lose them.  They’re a part of who we are and are often aesthetically compelling in their own right.  I love walking into houses filled with books.  E-Books (and digital music for that matter) will never be able to compete with a cherished personal library built up over decades.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Bibliophilia by Martyn Clayton

  1. Hi Leila,
    Brilliant as usual.
    You really do make some excellent choices.
    To anyone reading this, all of Martyn’s stories are well worth a look.

    Martyn – I enjoyed your answers especially about how you went about developing your character.
    As always, the questions and answers compliment the story – Thanks guys!!
    Hugh

    Like

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