James Kelman eh? I am not going to add much to the short piece below, written for the New Statesman, in my late mid-twenties when I’d barely started a first novel called El Mundo, and when to have Kelman to engage in their pages felt like a sobering responsibility. A pleasure too, but the soberness got to me (rightly; Kelman is made an even more significant a writer by his latter neglect by the predictables) such that when I faxed it in, yes! I suddenly laughed out loud at my sending something with the words above as its conclusion; ‘siding’ instinctively, aesthetically, culturally and politically with something that would blow-up farcically three years later during the Booker Prize. What japes!
JK: It wasni even like a nightmare it was as if I was away somewhere else in my fucking heid
A phrase, which I associated with the stories but was from his not-so-great I thought plays, about being ‘away somewhere else in my fucking heid’ is one of those few golden lines from all time, endlessly ricocheting around my mind and experience. The full quote reads; Baird; ‘It wasni even like a nightmare it was as if I was away somewhere else in my fucking heid, away at some place inside it and I was just looking oot, the outside bits of my heid were shielding me form what was going oan, like it was a cave and therr wis me trapped inside- naw! no trapped, it wasni like that, I was just fucking inside, out of it aw, from what was going on roonaboot.’ (Hardie and Baird, 1990, p 178)Continue reading “‘note_36 ‘Fucking bogging mud man a swamp, an actual swamp, it was fucking a joke’; James Kelman emerges from my archives”