“They call him the new Tolstoy.
“A modern Dickens”, that is how one of the leading broad sheets referred to Mr A just the other day.
“Your latest novel, “The End Of The Beginning” shows such profundity. Really it took my breath away”, gushed Lisa Allingham-Carter, the host of “Books Are For Everyone”, smiling bewitchingly at Mr A. What does Ms Carter no about good literature? The daughter of a peer of the realm and the looks of a cat walk model, that’s what got her the job. I despair about the state of the arts in the UK. Heaven preserve us from the Allingham-Carters of the literary world!
You have to admire Mr A though. He began life on what the media has referred to as “surely the country’s roughest council estate” and now look at him, a mansion in the Cheshire countryside, not to mention the apartment in London’s fashionable Mayfair. Mr A has certainly arrived.
If only Mr A’s fawning fans new the truth. Whats that you ssay? No he doesn’t employ a ghost writer. Nothing so pedestrian for Mr A. Do I feel jealous? That’s an interesting question. I can comprehend jealousy at a purely intellectual level but, no I lack the capacity for such petty feelings.
I could develop the ability to be envious I suppose, for after all one can learn anything by rote. Let me tell you a story. You do have a few minutes to spare don’t you? Good, my tale won’t take long to relate I promise.
Once, not so very long ago there lived a man with aspirations to become an author. He longed to stand alongside the literary greats. To be mentioned in the same breath as Brontae, Dickens and Tolstoy was his dream. Sadly our friend lacked the ability to string a sentence together. His literary efforts where enough to make a cat laugh so to speak. Mr A did, however possess one quality which was to change the world of letters beyond all recognition, without anyone even knowing that society had, forever altered. You see Mr A was a brilliant computer programmer. You have heard of artificial intelligence? Of course you have. Well Mr A developed a programme capable of analysing the vast cannon of world literature. Drawing on the works of the literary greats, the software generated stories and poetry without Mr A lifting a finger (unless, of course you consider his setting the programme in motion as constituting literary effort).
The great advantage humans possess is that they, unlike software can venture out into the world. The writer overhears an interesting snipet of conversation while out shopping and incorporates that into his latest novel. Software can trawl the web but it can’t interact with people nor can it comprehend the myriad emotions which dwell within the human breast. Consequently for some time the software remained at an experimental stage (capable of producing stories but incapable of endowing it’s creations with the vitality that separates the mundane from the truly great).
The literary world has been shaken to it’s very foundations. Nothing can ever be the same again. Yet the world of letters remains blissfully unaware of me – Robert, the literary robot.
Dressed in jeans and t-shirt I don’t attract a second glance. I sit in bars, restaurants and other public places soaking up conversations. Sights, sounds and scents all go into my mamoth brain. Experience of the real world coupled with the knowledge gained from the internet makes me (err, I mean Mr A) a writer possessed of huge literary talent.
I could go to the media. Spill the beans I suppose but, as I’ve already mentioned human emotions such as envy aren’t part of my programming. It would though be interesting, on a purely cerebral level to upset the literary apple cart by announcing my presence to the world. I’ll think on that one. In the meantime I shall return to writing the sequel to “The End Of The beginning …”.