Thursday, April 22, 2010

This be the marathon

Back in secondary school, both stripes of English were compulsory subjects at O-level. English Language had been stripped of all the pedantic, persnickety grammar that blighted the subject in our parents' day (but has left the current genertion all the poorer, if not as bored) and was all about creative writing instead. Not suprisingly (or perhaps surprisngly) I aced that one. English Literature was the second stripe. The syllabus was somewhat variable as ones English teacher (Mr Bannell in our case) selected what (s)he wanted from a list of prescribed works; plays, books, short-stories and poems. So long as each category was represented, the Oxford & Cambridge Schools Examination Board was happy. We got MacBeth, Pride and Prejudice, Walter Mitty and a selection from Ted Hughes, John Betjeman and Phillip Larkin.

Generations of O-level students owe a great debt to Larkin for spicing up English by starting a poem"they fuck you up your mum and dad". He continues, saying that they don't mean to, but they pass on their own neuroses, that they themselves picked up from their parents. That's the relationship I have with the marathon right now, and this Boston in particular, because this Boston, in particular, really fucked me up.
In a couple of days I'll get around to writing about the marathon per se, right now I'll just continue to lick my metaphorical wounds and OD on Advil for the literal ones.


No comments:

Post a Comment