Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Principles of a Sequel

According to his daughter May, William Morris used to remark that ‘When you are using an old story, read it through, then shut the book and write it in your own way’ (Collected Works, III, xxi-xxii). Could we, I wonder, apply this Morrisian maxim to his own News from Nowhere? One hundred and twenty years after its first publication it certainly now counts as an ‘old story’, so what might it mean to read it through, shut the book and write it in our own way in 2011 or beyond? How might we elaborate the principles that ought to guide such a retelling or rewriting?


Hermes said...

Or a prequel about how such a society came about. There are lots of snippets and hints.

Tony Pinkney said...

Dear Hermes, Many thanks for your interest. Yes, a 'News from Nowhere' prequel would certainly be good too. I did in fact offer a few thoughts in that direction in an earlier blog entry: see 4th February below. The more Morrisian - or perhaps we should say, neo-Morrisian - text we can generate between us, the better, in my view!