Thursday, October 08, 2009

Blogging the future

As our society hurtles helter-skelter towards a pretty unpleasant future – droughts, floods, resource wars, the unstoppable rise of Simon Cowell – the need grows ever more urgent for artists and storytellers to engage with our crises, both to reflect them and to think up alternative models of behaviour which might, by our imagining them, have a chance of coming into being. In my own small way, I am trying to contribute to this cultural adjustment by writing stories and novels that engage directly with the coming upheavals. If this sounds grandiose to you, I’d be the first to agree; but we all have a part to play in getting to grips with the new reality we are creating, and there is a growing movement – as varied and disparate as the world itself – of writers and artists engaged in that process. The internet is, of course, the forum where the ferment is taking place. Over the coming year, it is my intention to write about a different blog each month. For October, I would like to draw attention to spring coppice, the blog of a friend of mine, Abbie Garrington, who as well as being an intrepid explorer of uncomfortable tropical places is devoting her academic research to ‘twentieth century and contemporary literature, with a particular interest in nature writing, environmental protest fiction and literary representations of climate change’. As well as posting well and interestingly on a host of topics, she has the merit of doing so far more frequently than I do. Please visit Abbie’s blog; and while you’re there, check out her links. You’ll get no work done for hours.


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