Thursday, 19 May 2011

How Ian McEwan wrote the same book twice

Hi! I'm the narrator of an Ian McEwan novel, which I like to call “Enduring Saturday”. I'm just your typical white middle class guy who's wealthy enough to own a nice house in London. I'm married to a smart, beautiful woman who has a job (see, I'm not a sexist!) but doesn't really get much of a part in the novel other than to illustrate how virile I am and as a useful backdrop against which to depict the near-disintegration of my life (oh, maybe I am a bit sexist).

One day, a totally random occurrence brings me into contact with a poor working class white man who's either mentally ill or has a serious neurological disorder, which explains why he's so angry with me and determined to ruin my life (poor people would only be angry with rich people if they were funny in the head). They're crazy, these poor people, but it's useful to have them around to create a bit of drama in my life, which would otherwise be kind of boring, because when you're as rich as me, nothing interesting ever happens.

So anyway, the crazy poor guy starts chasing me round and trying to mess up my relationship with the women I own - oops, I mean, love - as I try to get on with my comfortable-but-meaningless-life, until eventually we have a dramatic confrontation, I nearly die, but in the end it's ok because the poor guys ends up in prison or in hospital, and I go on with life with a renewed ability to appreciate my boring bourgeois existence.
The End.


musehunter said...

I love it! You could/should be a columnist.

Annie Holmes said...

Ha! I had to do "Enduring Love" for English A level. Disappointingly, I wasn't coherently socialist/feminist enough to say that. Shame, because the rest of the class seemed to think he was great. /shudder/

Ruth Wallace said...

Late in the day, but echoing Annie's Ha! I did EL for A Level as well, and at the time I distinctly remember telling everyone that I wasn't a feminist, because clearly women had achieved equality and feminism wasn't necessary any more (/stupid teenage opinions). I also told the teacher - probably loudly and at length - that I thought Clarissa clearly didn't exist except as a fantasy of the narrator.