Another metaphor, this time where the world of binaries and classification has let the world down, and narrative and story is running the place instead. It’s Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban.

This book is based in a world where, well, this is from the afterword:

“a desolate England thousands of years after the destruction of civilization in a nuclear war; people would be living at an Iron Age level of technology and such government as there was would make its policy known through itinerant puppeteers.”

The main figure is Punch, from Punch and Judy shows. And he’s also the character in a drama about what the war was about, which is retold village to village. He’s used to enact Eusa, I think (it’s hard to tell), who has been confused with St Eustace, from a surviving illustration in a church. Canterbury, I think. This is part of the story. The text on this page is part of the story told about Eusa:

“Eusa wuz angre he wuz in rayj & he kep pulin on the Littl Man the Addoms owt strecht arms. The Littl Man the Addom he begun to cum a part he cryd, I wan tu go I wan tu stay.”

The whole book is written like this. It’s beautiful. The story continues…

(I’ll give the image source on the next slide, together with that source.)

Matt Webb, S&W, posted 2006-04-06 (talk on 2006-02-23)