Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tragicomic, bittersweet and other internal contradictions

When British then-schoolboy Adrian Mole first saw the light of day he was fourteen thirteen and three-quarters. Over the years his creator Sue Townsend has updated us on his tragicomic condition and for a while there it was more tragi than comic. But the current offering, The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole 1999-2001, is making me laugh a lot. Adrian is 33 (the age Jesus was when he died, something Adrian is happy to point out) and is living as a single father with his two sons: Glenn Bott-Mole, son of Sharon Bott, and William Mole, son of Adrian's Nigerian ex-wife JoJo.

In spite of Adrian's lifelong literary ambitions it's clear to everyone (except Adrian) that his son Glenn at fourteen is considerably more gifted than he, being able among other things to write verse that scans and rhymes. Witness the personal message in his Mother's Day card to Sharon, who now suffers from depression (as you would):

Best wishes on your special day
I love you more than words can say
You're always miserable and sad
And that is why I live with Dad.


Misrule said...

Sorry to be a pedant, but it's my job to know these things!--Adrian was 13 and 3/4s in the first book. Glad he's doing well at 33!

Pavlov's Cat said...