Friday, March 11, 2011

Pollyanna!

I'm reading David Walker's lovely, sad, thought-provoking and very South Australian memoir Not Dark Yet and thought I'd better refresh my memory about the context of that phrase; Walker has taken his title from the Bob Dylan song. It's a frightening, terrible song (I mean terrible here in the same sense of 'awful' to mean awe-inspiring and not in a happy way). My friend R told me a few days ago that she'd seen or heard someone describing a recent performance by Dylan of this as 'operatic' and now that I've had a good look at the lyrics I can see what they meant; the first thing I thought of was Lear on the heath. Dylan will be 70 in May, after all.

Anyway, so I got to the line that goes Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain and I thought well, yes, possibly, but behind every pain there's been some kind of beautiful thing, too.

A thought closely followed by the next: that my mind had apparently been possessed by some dreadful poppet from American children's literature. 'I'm glad my legs are broken! Glad, glad, glad!'

Even so, it seems at least as true as what Dylan said, although of course it doesn't scan as well. Nothing plays quite like a masculine ending, and if it's an emotive monosyllable so much the better.

On the other hand again, I think there's a simple explanation: I'm cheerful to the point of idiocy because first (a) I finished and sent off the manuscript of the Adelaide book and then (b) it got the thumbs-up from my publisher. (a) is why it's been a bit quiet around here. Normal service will be resumed shortly, in both content and tone.

14 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Big smiles for both a) and b). It must be a huge relief for you.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh yes. And thank you!

Peter said...

Ah, I thought the uncharacteristic pause might be indicating such an event. Congratulations!
We await publishing dates, etc.

Mindy said...

Hooray! All you need now is a good stoush to get your teeth into and you will be right.

lucy tartan said...

Hooray! I can't wait to read it, having watched you thinking about it en blog throughout the whole process.

Only you could put Pollyanna together with the joy of finishing a manuscript and have it not come out weird.

The Honourable Husband said...

Congrats, Kerryn! I really want to read the book. Publishing date?

Di said...

Good on you for finishing; I'm looking forward to reading it.

That's another great Dylan song; we need our artists and poets to own up to the pain in life, as well as the pleasure and joy.

Deborah said...

I'm trying to work out how to get a copy of said book here in NZ, 'though with a bit of good management we will be visiting Adelaide sometime this year, so hopefully I can pick it up then.

Delighted re a) and b).

David Irving (no relation) said...

I'd not paid too much attention to the words of "It's not dark yet", although I thought it was a great song the first time I heard it. It's even better than I thought.

Congratulations on finishing the Book and getting it past the publisher. I look forward to reading it.

Helen said...

What the others said - congratulations on finishing the book and can't wait to buy it! Will make great birthday prezzie for Dad's 91st, too. (Fingers crossed)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Helen, I take it your dad is an Adelaide dude so he will certainly recognise lots of things. I know what you mean about crossing your fingers, though, and mine's only a spring chicken of 84.

Nabakov said...

Cngratulations. Now for the sequel. "Adelaide: The Final Showdown."

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I haven't even mentioned the footy. I do, however, plan to shoehorn in a passing mention of the legendary Balfours Frog Cakes in Crows and Power colours now that I'm at the editing stage.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing the MS, & looking forward to having a copy in my hands.

Will the book have an index? Don D's cookbook would have been that much more useful for having one...

TFA