Although she is writing two more libretti - ‘l have great difficulty writing anything other than lyrics at the moment‘ — Weldon admits with a guilty laugh: ‘The novel is what I do. The other things are decorative
enterprises.‘ She produces a new novel virtually every year producing daily from her house in the country, but she says it is not a particularly solitary pursuit. ‘Ifyou are working in fiction you are perpetually in company, the company of the characters. You are with alternative patterns of reality — a terrible position to be in!’
Her routine sounds depressineg unglamorous. ‘If one turned into a cabaret artiste you can understand how wonderful it would be neverto have to get up till 12 but alas one can’t. I’m either in London, meeting people, or in the country. If I'm in the country I’m writing and faxing things, and continuously feeding — I have hens. . .’ (She also has a menagerie or two cats, three dogs, three geese and a small ﬂock of sheep). ‘Then in the afternoon, by the time what I have written has been typed and returned and I’ve picked up my child from school and cleaned the fish-tanks. . .’ The day has gone, but not unproductively.
It would be hard to imagine her writing any faster, yet one wonders how she has got by. not only without a word-processor, but without a typewriter. Her secretary in London solemnly types up her handwritten sheets. ‘I used to two-finger type but the quality of what you write is different — it has lots of adjectives in it. It is a different style. The pace at which the words come out, the pace at which they form in your head, has to be balanced with your capacity to use your hands. I find it easier with a pen than with something which puts up some kind of artificial but reassuring barrier. The typewriter stops you feeling silly, but in fiction the ideas are often simpler than anyone wants to believe.‘ Handwriting she reminds us is ‘within our control.’ ‘Ifyour handwriting is illegible, you can just write clearly, or you can rewrite a page. People feel doomed and controlled by their handwriting in an extraordinary way.’ '
More inclined to laugh than to worry, it seems unlikely Fay Weldon will ever feel doomed by anything — least of all by the obligation to keep producing a novel a year. While sometimes she admits it may feel “like writing a perpetual school essay,’ she points our with jocular shrewdness: ‘It feels like ifI finish the book I‘m doing then I can pay some bills. There is always that incentive. But that‘s not why I write and there may be a bit ofa gap between novels. Then you get interested in something and you become aware that you are going to write a novel again.’
A Small Green Place opens on Thursday 18 May at
Stevenson Hall, RSAMD. Q
.. ‘_ H _, 4.5. f
is much more capable ofcoming to
' terms with the harshly perverse sexuality displayed in the writings of Charles Bukowski than the author‘s home readership in America. While Frenchman Barbet Schroeder directed Mickey Rourke‘s game attempt at impersonating the author in Barﬂy. a semi-autobiographical chronicle of life as a poet/drunk/ visionary, Ben Gazzara had previously filled out a similar role in Italian film-maker Marco Ferreri‘s rather extreme film adaptation of Bukowski’s Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness.
Now however, comes another screen Bukowski from, ofall places. Belgium, with Dominique Deruddere‘s impressive debut feature Crazy Love based upon the story Love Is A Dog From Hell (the master of the groovy title strikes again). Following the sexual experiences ofone Harry Voss through three important episodes in his life, the film takes in his first pubescent stirrings. the trauma ofa lustsick acned adolescent. and most controversially. the disillusioned depravity of a booze-sodan middle-age, where his search for love ends in the arms ofa fresh corpse.
The 32 year-old Deruddere had in fact filmed this last section as a short, before travelling to LA. to seek Bukowski‘s approval for the continuation of his proposed triptych. ‘When I got there,‘ the Belgian recounts, ‘the first thing he did was to tell me how much he hated movies. . . That Ferreri shit. you know they had to throw me out ofthe screening.’. . . but I waited out in the garden with a bottle ofwine. and
. after halfan hour he called me back I in to say You've made me better than
D The European sensibilty. it seems,
Dominique Deruddere talks to Trevor Johnston about his movie, Crazy Love, showing at Mayfest.
myself. So I was able to go ahead. and could use his name in the credits. The next step however, was to find the financing for such daunting subject matter at home in Belgium. Although Derudere and his producer were able to go to the Ministries for Culture ofthe Flemish Community and the French Community for a significant grant, the Ministry still had to pass the screenplay. So how come the Belgian government is sponsoring a film like this. Dominic? ‘Well. I have to be honest about it. We gave them another script. The first screening for them they walked in without even knowing what they were about to see. but luckily they liked it a lot. Even though I lied to them all the way through. they themselves said that had they read the real script they would never have given me the money. so in a way I made my point.‘ The first Flemish film ever to be distributed in the US. Deruddere‘s movie has won critical attention all round the world, with last year‘s Edinburgh International Film
- Festival notes calling it "I‘he most
astonishing film debut since David Lynch‘s Eraserhead. All the kudos had the effect ofbringing him to the attention of Francis Coppola‘s Zoetrope Studios, for whom he has just shot Wait Unitl The Spring. Bandini from John Fante’s novel. with a cast including Faye Dunaway. and Mamet regular Joe Mantegna. The newie is expected to be ready for Venice. but meanwhile Crazy Love‘s uncomfortable viewing is sure to divide Mayfest audiences in the same way it has everywhere else. (Trevor Johnston)
( 'razy Love runs at the Glasgo w Film Theatre. 15—20 May. See Mayfest listings for programme details, and the Film section for a full review.
MAYF EST AT THE TRON
Until 14 May & 23 May—4 June at 7.30pm TRON THEATRE COMPANY presents THE GUID SISTERS
by Michel Tremblay
Translated by Bill Findlay & Martin Bowman Seats £4, £5 (£1 , £2)
LATE NIGHT AT THE TRON (l l . 15pm) Until 6 May ALEXANDER SISTERS with CLEA & McLEOD 7, 9, 10 May BRUCE MORTON with CLEA & McLEOD 11—14 May DANNY THOMPSON’S WHATEVER Seats £1.50, £2.50
16—21 May at 7.30pm TARRAGON THEATRE COMPANY present THE REAL WORLD? by Michel Tremblay Seats £4, £5 (£1, £2)
16—21 May at 11.15pm PIRATE PRODUCTIONS present Berkoff’s DECADENCE Seats £2.50, £3.50
LATE BAR THROUGHOUTMA YFEST
TRON THEATRE, , 63 TRONGATE, GLASGOW Box Ofﬁce: 041 552 4267 (2 lines) ACCESS & VISA WELCOME
The List 5— 18 May 198915