A walk in the Past

After umming and ahhing about whether to start this blog for a few months, I finally gave in; for as we all know even unpublished authors should build a web presence. After researching and discussing it on writer’s forums and with friends and family, the thing that swayed me was realising that I could furnish this space with stuff I was actually interested in! You may well think this is obvious, but the number of author platforms and blogs out there harking on about how important it is to establish your web presence and brand is enough to spur one into a state of immediate inertia.

Eventually I shook this off and decided to start by posting up something I have enjoyed co-writing for almost ten years – a selection of correspondences to my sister.  (If any of you should wish to acquaint yourself with this esteemed personage, and join in our banter, you can now do so by going to my other blog, The Gentlemen’s Journals.)

In turn this has given me a subject to blog about for my first post: the past in the present. I don’t mean tracing back the origins of our political system to 5th century democratic Athens; I mean how literature, films and any fancy that bring the past back into the present day in an unexpected, reflective or unusual way, is always thrilling.

First, on a light-hearted note, I’d like to recommend or reminisce over fondly (if by chance you share the same tastes) an older TV show, film and newer book.

  • Lost in Austen ITV mini series
  • Kate and Leopold
  • Northanger Abbey, Updated rewrite by Val McDermid

All for anyone wanting to just get swept up in the past, in the today.

I love the idea that a lot of American TV shows are presently exploring of, as in Kate and Leopold, individuals from the past coming back into the present day. Check out:

  • Forever
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • The Age of Adaline (Looking forward to going to see this new movie)

And yes, the paranormal/immortality is an obvious, but excellent way of having the past instantly before us in stories.

Lastly, I recently read a great novel:

  • Jay McInerary’s Last of the Savages.

I love that through it there is an undercurrent of the past that imbues the story with depth and the present with glimmering vitality.

Here are some tasters from ‘Last of the Savages’, when describing Will Savage:

“But he came from a haunted family, a vanquished land, and even as he stormed the crenelated walls of convention, he inadvertently taught me about the past’s implacable claims on the present – that it is if anything, more tangible than the vibrant, breathing moment.”

“He sounded exactly like his father – perhaps his great-great-grandfather, the slave owner, who’d killed a man in a duel over an obscure point of honor. He was a hippie one moment and a Savage the next.”

Well whether reading, writing, watching – enjoy. And feel free to pop in and quote Austen in a silly manner in the now, always like a bit of that, or equally good, for a bit of reflection on any stories you like!


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