This island has no secrets, not from me. It loves me and I love it and when I paint my face I am a part of the island. The swarthiness of my face hidden behind the clay and charcoal. I leave behind England, it's not important anymore, our island is all that matters. The rhythm of the hunt, the sun, beats deep in my blood. The littl'uns play, eat and sleep, there good for nothing and just take up precious space on my island.I couldn't have known a ship would pass at the exact moment my hunters left the fire. We needed the meat. Everything was perfect, the pigs on the mountain, the hunters and our spears, we had to go then. The hunt was perfect, the gouts and gouts of blood, the pigs death screams. But that stupid boat went by and destroyed my trophy.Then Simon, stupid little Simon, gives the fat belligerent Fatty a piece of meat. He doesn't deserve it, the fat, ass-mar infected, fatty. The know-it-all that says he could do better, he wouldn't he'd do the exact same thing in my shoes. Damn him, damn them all! They should have just taken the meat. Then Ralph stands there and tells me I am too malevolent. I even apologized. He doesn't deserve to be chief, he's weak. He wouldn't do it, he wouldn't kill. There's power behind the spear, impalpable to people like Ralph. We dominate those pigs. Now that we have found the way to kill the pigs, we don't even need to be rescued. It doesn't matter that there was no fire to signal the ship, because we needed the men for the hunt and I don't regret it anymore because now we have meat.
William Golding
Bookish folk aren’t what they used to be. Introverted, reserved, studious. There was a time when bookish folk would steer clear of trendy bars, dinner occasions and gatherings. Any social or public encounters would be avoided at all costs because these activities were very un-bookish. Bookish people preferred to stay in, or to sit alone in a quiet pub, reading a good book, or getting some writing done. Writers, in fact, perhaps epitomised these bookish traits most strongly. At least, they used to.These days, bookish people, such as writers, are commonly found on stage, headlining festivals, or being interviewed on TV. Author events and performances have proliferated, becoming established parts of a writer’s role. It’s not that authors have suddenly become more extroverted – it’s more a case that their job description has changed. Of course, not all writers are bookish. Not in the traditional sense of the word anyway. Some are well suited for public life, particularly those from certain academic backgrounds where public speaking is encouraged and confidence in social situations is shaped and formed. These writers may even be termed ‘gregarious’ and are thus happy being offered up for speaking engagements, stage discussions and signings. Good for them. But the others – the timid, shy and mousy authors – they’re being thrust into the limelight too. That’s my lot. The social wipeouts. Unprepared and ill-equipped to face our reader audience. What’s most concerning is that no one is offering us any guidance or tips. We’re expected to hit the ground running, confident and ready, loaded with banter, quips and answers. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Paul Ewen