Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Murder Re-Enacted

The Graveyard Book just won a literary award, which never gets old, and this one came with a medal, and also with a cheque. I thought, Hm. I have to get myself something with the cheque and I have to do it immediately, otherwise it will simply vanish into the day to day bank account of life, and I will never look at anything and go "Ah, that is the thing I got with my Graveyard Book Award."

So I bought this. It's "The Murder Re-Enacted":

It's an E. H. Shepard illustration (he's most famous for illustrating Winnie the Pooh) from Kenneth Grahame's book The Golden Age. Kenneth Grahame wrote The Wind In The Willows, the story of Mole and Rat and Badger and of course, Mr Toad, also illustrated by Shepard.

I once read an essay by A.A. Milne telling people that, of course they knew Kenneth Grahame's work, he wrote The Golden Age and Dream Days, everybody had read them, but he also did this amazing book called The Wind in the Willows that nobody had ever heard of. And then Milne wrote a play called Toad of Toad Hall, which was a big hit and made The Wind in The Willows famous and read, and, eventually, one of the good classics (being a book that people continue to read and remember with pleasure), while The Golden Age and Dream Days, Grahame's beautiful, gentle tales of Victorian childhood, are long forgotten.

If there is a moral, or a lesson to be learned from all this, I do not know what it is.

Right. Off to K.N.O.W. St Paul to record the intro bits to my NPR piece on Audio Books, and I will play the Martin Jarvis-read GOOD OMENS on the car CD player all the way there.

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