Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ulysses and back again

HERE'S YET ANOTHER STUPID IDEA I WON'T SEE THROUGH. You, the reader(s?), will select a favoured literary classic that I (hopefully) haven't read (don't worry; I've read very few literary classics). You will then condense the opening into a dry sequence of facts, which I will attempt to transform into something resembling writing. (This is probably a bad and very egotistical idea, but don't let me know that.)

By way of example:

Buck Mulligan was at the top of the stairs. He had shaving equipment. He looked down the stairs and saw Stephen Dedalus. He shook his head. Stephen Dedalus was sleepy and cross. Buck Mulligan started shaving.

The man known as Buck Mulligan stood at the top of the staircase, a cut-throat razor in each hand and a shaving mirror hung around his neck on a silver chain. He cast his gaze downwards by increments, scrutinising each step in turn, as though he feared that he would miss some tiny detail--some discolouration or ball of lint whose omission might be to his disadvantage somewhere along the line. It was because of this that he took so long to see Stephen Dedalus, even though the other man was stood only six feet away from him. "Why! Dedalus! I didn't see you there! What a shock!" Mulligan shook his head, not knowing quite why. Dedalus glared at him disapprovingly; his puffy face betrayed a night of sleepless agony, but he said nothing. "Gee, I feel pretty shaken up. I think I might have a shave!" Mulligan waved his razors in the air, apeing the maneouvres of a fighting Chinaman
. The blades came closer and closer to his jowly face; Dedalus, too horrified to look, averted his gaze. The next he knew, there was a cry, and the ample form of Mulligan was tumbling down the stairs towards him, metal flashing in his flailing hands.

Okay, I got carried away at the end there. Sorry.

1 comment:

Just Lianne said...

That's a fucking great opener. Very charming and suited, pretty sure all the davids&daves of the literary world would be PLEASED.x