Go down the rabbit hole with Alice; play quidditch with Harry Potter; float down the river with Huck Finn… If you could choose three fictional events or adventures to experience yourself, what would they be?
I’ve spent a lifetime wandering in fictional landscapes. Many times I’ve been happy to observe, rather than be part of the story. Often, I wated to be a friend of the hero… or heroes. I wanted to be like them, rather than actually be them. There never seemed to be a character that was just like me.
I would have loved to go sailing with the Swallows & Amazons. I always thought Captain John was a bit wet…. but Nancy Blackett is still my kind of girl. I’m good with a boat because I read those stories.
I was a big reader of Enid Blyton stories, but they haven’t aged well. They’re quite racist and elitist. I’d have liked to have known the Famous Five, but I would have been one of those unpleasant working class children. The Five were terrible snobs. It’s a bit like wanting to go to Hogwarts and then finding out you’re an absolute muggle.
A third tale I’d like to be in? Well, I wouldn’t mind being a citizen of Ankh-Morpork. I’m more suited to being an industrious dwarf than being heroic Sam Vimes, but I’d certainly be up for a pub crawl with Nanny Ogg. I’ve been in pubs with the Nac Mac Feegle ! Muggle as I may be, I fully understand the magic of Discworld.
A fourth! Taking Tripitaka to India to fetch the scriptures! I certainly want to be King Monkey, Great Sage, Equal of Heaven!
Street scene, Ankh-Morpork.