Thursday, 30 June 2011

Veggiebooks: A Very Persistent Illusion

It's unkind of an author to make you doubt if you're actually reading their book. Maybe the book is an illusion. Maybe you're making up the holding of the book, the sitting in the favourite armchair, and you're responsible for the words on the page too. You made up that story, and all the other stories on your bookshelf. That bookshelf over there; the one that doesn't exist. It's all a figment of your imagination. Yes, you are responsible for imagining tofu and U2 and igloos. It's all you.

There are eloquent arguments, put forward by LC Tyler in A Very Persistent Illusion, as to why we are both real and imagined. I can't remember the arguments for reality. I'm left with this nagging feeling that this is all a dream. For this reason, I do not recommend reading A Very Persistent Illusion and watching Inception in the same week. It's not good for your head.

But hey, don't listen to my point of view. All you figments out there, go find your own reality. Have a good laugh while you're doing it. Read LC Tyler's books and don't get so sidetracked by the intellectual reductionist sleight of hand that you miss the excellent writing throughout:

It's not a good time of year for people who don't like blossom. The bush-packed cottage gardens and the flat, improbably green fields are full of apple blossom, pear blossom, horse chestnut blossom, May blossom. Rich cream, bridal white, baby pink, pastel blue and soft ephemeral yellow are all there somewhere. Everything says, "Rejoice! The winter is over." You have to go high up into the fells to escape the insistent colour, up into the lumpy brownness of the dead fern, where the odd purple-blue flower, peeping out shyly from the damp moss, can be trodden kindly but firmly under your size nine boots. It may be spring in the valley, but up here you know the glaciers could be back any time they choose. It's a reassuring place for pessimists to be.

LC Tyler also writes the Elsie and Ethelred mysteries that inevitably do not contain herrings (apart from red ones) even though they are advertised as such. Tyler likes to mess with your head. His head. Whatever head we're all in.

The new Elsie and Ethelred, Herring on the Nile, is out next week. But don't forget about A Very Persistent Illusion. I love it.


C. N. Nevets said...

Sounds very up my alley. I shall have to find more room in my TBR pile. I've had the E&E books on my TBFMW (To Buy For My Wife) pile for a while now...

Aliya Whiteley said...

It's top, Nevets! Give it a go.