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Anthropomorphising The Unanthrompomorphisable

One of the marvelous things about writing both the Wrong Books and Dooven Books, is that both are absurd in that they allow the personification of the unpersonifiable. That is, things that are not traditionally attributed as having character are given character. For example, in the first Wrong Book, pain is anthropomorphised thusly:

A splintering pain went from the back of his head to meet up with the well established pain at the front of it. The front pain, currently hosting a party on his face, was delighted at the arrival of yet more, and got it a drink before introducing it to the pain from the wide variety of haematomas that had taken up residence across the extent of his anatomy. The party was going splendidly until Thomas’ long established emotional pain, disgruntled with all these new pains arriving and taking residence, began berating them for squandering the whinging that didn’t belong to them. The other pains ignored it until the ruptured-suture-pain and left-eye-pain punched it in the face and threw it into the dark recess of Thomas’ mind.

While in the Dooven Books, realisation, disbelief and silence become anthropomorphised:

Across the audience, realisation arrived, got comfortable next to silence and made improper suggestions regarding what they could get up to together.
Silence fell for a third time and was beginning to get indignant at doing so. When it fell a fourth time it began complaining about its bruises.
He walked around the dog while realisation fought with disbelief, both having arrived with large amounts of luggage only to find they’d been double booked.

It’s this sort of absurd characterisation that makes writing the books so enjoyable. Once feelings and events become entities in themselves, it adds a colour that gives both series a certain vibrancy. I often feel one approaching as I type, but it only works when there’s no thinking involved. It’s a bit like waiting for a pooh: you can feel it coming, and the best ones take no effort. If you stop before it’s done, things don’t work as well: both become forced.

I might stop there, I think.


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