William McIlvanney (2006) Weekend.
Posted by celticman on Sat, 12 Jul 2014
I didn’t mean to read this book. It was a bit like having a wank, not unpleasant but plodding on and on. Harry Beck, one of the protagonists, is a writer. I’ve nothing against writers. I hold McIlvanney’s book Docherty with great affection. I remember it as a tale of a little man that is a big man, a miner that lives by his own rules. If you asked me anything else about it I’d be found out as a charlatan. The Big Man, well, that was a step down in class. Liam Neeson was in the film. He was a boxer that wasn’t a boxer. Here we have a writer that is not a writer.
Here in brackets is Beck’s thoughts (McIlvanney tends to gloss his character's reactions to events in brackets) when he receives a rejection letter from his publishers ‘(Critics, he had long ago decided, are people who begin by telling you you never had it and end by telling you you’ve lost it)’.
Failure, rejection, all the stuff that makes us human, wrapped up in a writer’s convention. The characters have run through me. The message is we are animal and human, a hybrid breed and to ignore one is to untrue to oneself. Not a bad idea. Writing McIlvanney/Beck declares is a pursuit in which we find ourselves. Cheers Big Man.