Sunday, 16 November 2014

Writing - The use of English



The number of sources of inspiration are limitless and once again I was driven by an old story. The parable of the talents from the book of Matthew but it was because of the use of language and the transfer of that aspect of the message to the present day.


This is the story of the rich man giving his slaves his wealth to take care of while he went on a journey. Some versions of the story refer to the property as bags of gold, others as talents but the focus of the story was what the slaves did with their master's property.

In short the man with five bags of gold turned them into ten and and similarly the slave with two bags, but the slave with just one bag buried the gold and returned it to his master without any extra. This was described as a wicked sin as he didn't develop the gold/talents into more As a result of this lack of entrepreneurial drive he was discarded to the darkness with a gnashing of teeth etc.

I've always struggled with this story and felt sorry for the man with the one talent. In a sense he did nothing wrong in returning what he had been entrusted with but ended up feeling the wrath of his master's tongue. It is true that if you have a specific ability that you should try and develop it because that way can bring you happiness about yourself, but whether you sell it to an audience or not is a very different question.


In fact I was struck by a line in the story which went along the lines of 'the more you have the more you'll receive' that made me feel that the whole story was probably the underlying tenet of political conservatism.

So when we produce a piece of writing are we entirely sure how it will be interpreted or in fact in how many ways it will be interpreted? Are we worried? In a sense once we release a story, a poem, or any piece of art into the ether it ceases to belong solely to us. True we may have copy-write and intellectual property rights etc. but when a work becomes public that is precisely what it is - in the public domain for that great readership to pass judgement upon.



It is with these sorts of feelings that I prepare to launch my latest novel - Earth plc. At the same time please don't forget that it is the 7th in a series.

God Bless