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Monday, 4 February 2008

Carolyn Mayne 2008

As a new-ish member of the Kraken I decided I'd like to join in the sa4qe this year, then realised that we would be travelling to our house in Devon that day. I had chosen extracts from Kleinzeit and Turtle Diary, obtained a supply of gold paper, and planned several suitable places to leave them in my home town of Guildford. However, Surrey's loss was the west country's gain. The first two were left at the Solstice Somerfield shop, a couple of miles from Stonehenge - one in the display of newspapers where the Guardian should have been and one in the ladies' loo (tucked into a large bucket of fresh flowers - the gold paper complemented the yellow chrysanthemums). Later on that evening, in Hope Cove on the south Devon coast, we went to the pub for dinner and left a couple there (one in the ladies' loo again I'm afraid, wedged by the mirror). Then, walking back to the house in gale-force winds, I left the last one in the telephone box only a few yards from the crashing waves - appropriate, I thought, for the Turtle Diary piece.

He put his face in front of the bathroom mirror.
I exist, said the mirror.
What about me? said Kleinzeit.
Not my problem, said the mirror.
from Kleinzeit (1974)

There are green turtles whose feeding grounds are along the coast of Brazil, and they swim 1,400 miles to breed and lay their eggs on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, half way to Africa. Ascension Island is only five miles long. Nobody knows how they find it. Two of the turtles at the Aquarium are green turtles, a large one and a small one. The sign said: “The Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, is the source of turtle soup….” I am the source of William G. soup if it comes to that. Everyone is the source of his or her kind of soup. In a town as big as London that’s a lot of soup walking about.
from Turtle Diary (1975)

No pictures I'm afraid. Perhaps next year!

I have enjoyed Russell Hoban's novels for many years, and have managed to get one of his books onto the programme of both book groups I belong to - Riddley Walker and Her Name Was Lola. Both were popular choices, though none of the other readers had previously heard of him.

~ Carolyn

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