27.3.10

Everyone Thinks They Can Write a Children's Book

Over at Cockeyed Caravan, film blogger Matt Bird (husband to children's book blogger Betsy Bird - such a small world, isn't it?) has transcribed one of my favourite speeches from one of my favourite episodes of one of my favourite shows.

The show is Black Books and the episode is the one in which Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey's characters decide to write a children's book.  I was so happy to see this mad little speech in print that I really can't bear not to steal it!  With thanks and apologies, here it is:
The first draft of the kids’ book is 1030 pages, and not entirely age-appropriate, but Moran can explain:
 “It’s perfectly simple: There’s the academic who survived the Stalinist purges and is now having flashbacks, his daughter whose long bitter marriage is collapsing around her and the journalist who is investigating the academic because he suspects he was never in Russia at the time and who falls obsessively in love with the daughter and then sacrifices his whole career to become a lens grinder in Omsk. What’s the problem? I don’t think we should talk down to children.”  
 “Yes, but, I have two tiny suggestions. Instead of the academic and the journalist and the daughter, perhaps it could be about an elephant.” 
[bitterly] “I see.What’s your other suggestion?” 
“Well, instead of the Stalinist purges, it could be about [delicately] losing a balloon ”
“An elephant who loses his balloon?” 
 “That’s it.” 
 [pause, then…] “But it would still be my story, in essence? My vision” 
 “Oh yes, completely.”
 [sudden mania:] “Let’s do it!”

You can watch the full episode here.

2 comments:

Carolyn said...

I adore this episode, and I've always thought the bit when Bernard and Manny are brainstorming at the blackboard would make a fantastic corporate training film on how NOT to brainstorm!

Matt Bird said...

Thanks for the link! Always happy to share content and spread the love. I like your books, too!