[Jewels from Page 6]
Yes, it’s true. Reading a page of Julian’s work every single day drove our entire editorial staff into a state of such ill-health that we had to spend a year at an exclusive health spa in Bavaria.
We are under stern medical advice not to repeat this dangerous experiment – but our doctors have cautiously agreed to let us put the team back together on a small number of one-off occasions. We’ve decided that the best way to carry on will be to celebrate those happy times when Jules brightens our world by venting his spleen to his friend at the Western Fail, so today’s analysis of Page 6 comes to you courtesy of Julian’s understandable distress at the unpleasant fact that real writers are given money. His distress may have been exacerbated by the remarkable success of his very own literary ‘festival’, which even the speakers thought wasn’t worth turning up for. [Yes, we know it might not be a friend at the Western Fail so much as someone whose sexual activities have been photographed by Julian – even the Western Fail is usually above giving quite so much space to a man who can’t use apostrophes].
Julian’s attempts at direct speech are considerably more wooden than the average chair, but he doesn’t really hit the heights we know he’s capable of on this page – the dialogue is just boring, with only a few minor grammatical errors, so we’ll pass over it for now and wait for delights on future pages. His descriptive writing, however, is as remarkable as ever – it’s hard to understand why Literature Wales hasn’t pulled out a cheque book for Jules yet, it really is.
‘The violence. The hatred. Sleep sometimes chased them out of hiding, as dreams and their reality appeared from time to time.’ We’re almost at a loss for words here, and our doctors are muttering anxiously in the background. Sleep chasing stuff? Dreams and their reality? Aren’t dreams more or less by definition not reality? It’s all mildly psychedelic, but not enough to be fun.
To finish for today, before these palpitations become serious, we also have a lovely insight into why Julian roars and wails about those aspects of Welshness he detests – yes, it’s all nationalism, and it’s all naughty:
She had known nothing about the ferocity of nationalism. Of patriotism. Diseases that murdered and wasted all that was good in the human condition. You tell ’em, Jules! It’s a pity no-one pointed out that well-known aphorism to Baron de Coubertin – then we’d have been spared seeing all those people running and jumping and throwing things around London at the moment. They may think they’re having fun, but Jules knows that waving a flag when you’ve won a race murders and wastes all that’s good in the human condition. Oh, indeed.
Yes, you’re right, Jules does rather like things to be black and white. No, he doesn’t deal in subtleties. Point out to him any examples of people achieving great things by working together for a shared patriotic goal, and he’ll fart in your face and call you a Nazi. Probably.
We’re off for a massage and some herbal tea now.
With luck, we’ll have recovered from Page 6 entirely by the time Julian is next allowed out of his cage. Do let us know if you hear anything by him that justifies another session of the most physically painful ‘literary’ analysis we’ve ever attempted.