Sunday, May 24, 2009

Roman a clef. Novel with a key.How to make the bastards take a joke



Stomach rumbling, landlord at the gates, so I have to write this one really fast.
Like the last "fast one" I pulled on local electorate, me having lost an election and coming out with a little roman à clef which would surely explain why I lost, and, further that all my competirors had been frauds, bumstabbers, thieves.

Niccolo Machiavelli: When you lose an election, claim fraud.
I did. I wrote a roman a clef.
What is a roman à clef ?

A roman a clef is a book that has the out-of -literature interest of portraying well-known real people more or less thinly disguised as fictional characters.

So I had drawn the current mayor at the time as a bumstabber and a thief.
Ah wounded vanity. But at least, I got to print and publish my Storm and Stress on the Campaign trail.
A whole sixty copies printed and even reviewed.
Look out Hunter S. Thompson!
"You've got all the characters," said THE NEWS.
"Now fill 'em out and write a real novel."
Well, better read than dead, I suppose.

I got to learn how to write a roman a clef.
Heaven forbid there should be a key to everything.

Roman à clef. Novel with a key. I think I chewed that key.
Gave myself a cleft palate.

##

17 comments:

the walking man said...

"Man the ramparts and pour the boiling oil on them assaulting the gate" ;says I old man!!!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Exactly.
But I'm getting to be like the dismembered knight out of Monty Python, on the ramparts: "Stand up amd fight!"

Anonymous said...

I read,today, with interest, the WorldWatch comment on "holiday horror"/shooting experience of tourists in Jamaica...former PM Paul Martin,a number of years back,actually invited the Jamaican PM to address Canadian Parliament on and about successful gun control in Jamaica,and by some form of in-direct implication,advise us as to what we should do in Canada to replicate their success in controlling gun crime...all this laughable and absolute insanity is ,of course,directly tied to the almighty vote and the "get elected at all costs/even if it's on the backs of ill-informed immigrants" syndrome... (remember the Martin visit to black Jamaican communities in TO,hard on the heels of the Creba tragedy,and right in the midst of a desperate federal liberal election campaign?...absolutely no shame...)..."who cares,as long as we get elected/re-elected?"...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark "The Walking Man" might have some input on this. He is from Detroit!

Charles Gramlich said...

I know so few people that Roman a clef are just pure fiction to me.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hee.

Mona said...

O I did plenty of that, and have been the victim too! when I was at a blog war with my ex best friend!

The ex best friend started writing nasty 'Dizzy Stories' full of satirical intent ,and his publisher, not knowing that they were actually an attack on my character, started publishing them ( she liked them so much) I warned her that it was actually a revenge issue, not any act of creation ( It was an act of degeneration in fact) but she did not listen to me. Then there came a whole group and who started kind of love- hate worship of the notorious Dizzy.

So I wrote one , Just one Roman o Clef... and it cleft the entire clan . A Lot of people shut their blogs and the publisher resigned

...I guess Dizzy lived up to her name finally ;)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I was told once (by a very bad prof who finally got fired) that with me, it was "all talent and no judgment"....that stuck with me for decades... Until I wrote about a guy who was living in these parts with "an illegitimate brood."
This could have been a libel issue and we were, after all friends. He came back with humour-- a picture offour girls their knickers down mooning me in a photograph...
but that damned judgment problem of mine.
"If in doubt, clout" doesn't often work. You might accidentally clout a friend.
I guess Dizzy did it on purpose.

Yeah, the "Dizzies" are everywhere.
One old flame is no doubt doing an
à clef on me, but little does she know I have a fresh Rapier anti-missile missile in the breech ready to go.
Petty? I'm not petty. :)

Midnight said...

Oh, go ahead Ivan ... clef a Roman in half. Use both hands ; and a Battle Axe.

You know you want to.

Do it for Carthage!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Good, Midnight.
Education these days is about political correctness.
But what North American kid can tell you about the Second Punic War?
Never mind the Nazis. Look what the antique W*ps were capable of.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Good, Midnight.
Education these days is about political correctness.
But what North American kid can tell you about the Second Punic War?
Never mind the Nazis. Look what the antique W*ps were capable of.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Whoops.

Double-hheader.

Fascist axe? Hm.

Midnight said...

Hey, no sweat. A double-headed axe catches (potentially) another W*op on the back-swing.

Whaaat? I used the PC asterisk, didn't I?

Nice Driveway.

ivan@creativewritng.ca said...

Heh.

Midnight said...

On a serious note, Ivan ... I'm sure you're familiar with Project Gutenberg, a collection of e-books:

I'm half-way thru this one :

With British Guns in Italy

A Tribute to Italian Achievement.

By : Sir Hugh Dalton

(faster for me if you google it, than me linking)

A memoir of a British Officer's experience during WWI, the narrative is spellbinding, with its raw description of war, interspersed with stunning descriptions of scenery, majestic and profound, be it on the Front, or holidays in Rome in Springtime.

No more needs to be said.

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