I shared my Inspirations Song List today as I’d updated it (Songs that Inspired Stories), then joked that I should make a list of stories that started from collisions. Not literally — although I do have one or two of those — but collisions of ideas.
Example: later this month Empty Mirror will publish my essay ‘Chaucer and the Art of the Grift’ which came from a collision in my head between The Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale and David Maurer’s The Big Con. It makes perfect sense to me but maybe this is why I have a hard time getting people to follow my thoughts. Possibly they seem random and incoherent!
But they seem reasonable to me. Here’s a random selection of things what I have written and the collisions from which they sprang:
The Mangrove Legacy: Peter Cook & Jane Austen
White Rabbit: Blue Sunshine & Seance on a Wet Afternoon & certain London pubs
How to Be Dull: academia & Jerome K. Jerome
Airships & Alchemy: <— exactly that
Owl Stretching: The Descent of Inanna & Spike Milligan
‘Elf Prefix’: The Maltese Falcon & The Fairy Melusine
‘Headless in Bury’: The Big Sleep & vikings
‘Wordgeryne’: Lovecraft and medieval charms
‘Losing My Religion’: REM, Tony Hancock & social media debates
“Domus inferna Sancti Guthlaci: A Rediscovery of the Twelfth-Century Narrative of The Saint and the Money Pit”: my Pseudo-Society talk that sprang from rearranging the Harley Roll illustrations of the life of the saint so they became a sort of DIY disaster
…and of course there’s a whole random Fall song + whatever random obsession has fired in my brain this week which covers most of my crime writing that isn’t currently inspired by Robyn Hitchcock.
It’s not just me, right?
[Image from the Cosmagraphia Scoti MS. Canon. Misc. 378 via Bodleian Library]