Wrestliana – Touchline Philosophy

TOUCHLINE PHILOSOPHY The touchline, or its prehistoric equivalent, is what makes us human. I have thought about this a great deal, but am still worried that it’s the kind of anthropological speculation that has no force. Anyway, here it comes. There have been many suggestions as to what, if anything, makes humans different to animals. […]

Junot Díaz – ‘My Full Account of Cruelties Towards People’

Last year, I gave a lecture on ‘Success!!!’ and how to cope with it. I quoted Junot Díaz extensively, and approvingly. (I also used some words from him as the epigraph of my non-fiction book, Wrestliana: ‘You wrestle with your family your entire life.’) In the midst of the dismaying, appalling accusations against him, I […]

Wrestliana – ‘Journeys’ Which Aren’t

  ‘Where does the journey look…?’ – W.H.Auden, ‘The Voyage’ ‘It’s been such a journey.’ We hear a nauseating amount about journeys – almost as much as we hear about stories. ‘My journey’ – every television documentary must, of necessity, be ‘a personal journey in search of…’ Because if it isn’t, it will just be […]

Wrestliana – William’s Lake Walk

WILLIAM’S LAKE WALK In 1824, William Litt wrote an account of his attendance at the Windermere Regatta. It was published in the local paper, the Cumberland Pacquet. I think it’s probably his best piece of writing, outside his book Wrestliana. Although I tried, I couldn’t find anywhere to include it – or even mention it […]

Wrestliana – Emily Brontë

In this kill you darling (or DVD extra), I am visiting my great-great-great grandfather’s William Litt’s birthplace, Bowthorn Cottage. Above the door were carved the date ‘1685’ and the initials ‘E.M.S.’ I suddenly felt as if I were standing outside Wuthering Heights – over the principal door of which is carved the date ‘1500’ and the […]

Wrestliana – William Litt (A Creative Writing Tutorial)

In this cut section from Wrestliana, I imagine giving my ancestor William Litt a creative writing tutorial, to help him improve his novel Henry & Mary.   Scene: My office.   Ah, William – hello. Come in. Yes, that chair. I always sit in this one, don’t know why. Fine – okay? How are you? How have […]