Or Misunderstandings of a Thwarted Mind as offered by the thesaurus.
Fourteen words penned and I am veering off the point already. Perhaps this blog is physical evidence of the delusion I refer to.
The Writer’s World I inhabit?
Is that not similar to poor Marguerite’s fantasy? With her mansion populated with outrageous film props, bizarre second-hand costumes and even a solemn looking butler who actively encourages said delusion of her ability as an opera singer?
I refer to the film of the same name, Marguerite, which is a “must see” in my book, a true bitter-sweet experience. Listed as a comedy but more of a tragedy in my eyes, this sad verging on blackly humorous tale is excellently portrayed and although subtitles usually frustrate me as a distraction, hearing the flow of conversation in French added to the ridiculous elegance of the drama. Based (loosely) on the real life story of an American (had to be didn’t it?) socialite and amateur opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins the entire film raises questions about the age-old fact of people being used and taken advantage of by those hoards that are among us all of unscrupulous souls. Those that are happy to skin a buck from the homeless if needed but attracted by the scent of wealth and living by the creed “A Fool and Their Money”. Then there are the Marguerite’s in life those sad souls who live within the harsh comfort offered by false love. There are many such lovers in Marguerite’s life, none more controversial than the cad of a husband who accepts his wife’s bizarre and clearly self-delusional belief in her ability to sing. But, for me, Marguerite also prompted this introspection of my self beliefs and life choices.
Incidentally Hugh Grant and Meryl Streep are soon to hit the screens with a similar film based on the same lady and her terrible voice. For me, I would say to you don’t exclude the less publicly known (in the limited world of ITV, BBC, Sky and Netflix) excellent performance of Catherine Frot as Marguerite and give it a chance. Besides, my personal interpretation of Madelbos (the aforementioned solemn but devious butler) needs second and third opinions as you see from my telling crossing out where I was leading the witness IE: you the reader, into the realms of “my opinion”.
Back on theme: Delusions.
Isn’t it true to say that we all “delude” ourselves to some extent?
- Make up for the girls and ladies (and indeed the men nowadays, another delusion?)
- Incessant awareness of fashion titbits such as never wearing vertical stripes and black is slimming etc.
- Volunteers believing they can and do make a difference
- Common everyday fears, not entering lifts, not being able to swim, actually needing that cigarette.
- Television is the master of creating delusion and don’t most of us secretly hide inside the norm of a soap opera (Corrie?) or the excitement of a fantasy drama (Game of Thrones?) etc.
- Gill Sainsbury is the next world-famous author in the genre of Stephen King
You can twist the inherent meaning of the word and declare much in life to be a delusion, after all replace the word with the thesaurus synonym misunderstanding or misconception and one’s ability (/inability) to sing or write is nowhere near as threatening as a delusion.
However, the real keep me awake at night question looming in my mind after seeing this delightful film in the agreeable (I’ve found the word provided thesaurus) company of my lovely fellow English, Londoner and ex volunteer Daphne, is am I really a writer?
Months in the wilderness have left their scars, the usually harmless sleeping pussy cat of a tiger woke to reveal his true self, which is really a sabre tooth with self-belief shredders in his jaws and claws.
The monkeys swung down from the tree with much more than playfulness in their minds, they snatched at my confidence, chittering and jittering taunts of childish “You’re a failure. You can’t do it, ner ner ne ner ner!” in my ear.
NB: I rest my on laurels as a writer that I can invent new words and expressions, these will become known in the hallowed halls of publishing as Gillisms. Yes, those that know me also know of Denisms and I accept the accusation of plagiarism gladly.
I attended a Public Edit seminar within the hallowed halls of Bloomsbury Publishing where two of the delegate’s works were put up on screen for the successful and therefore “real” and esteemed writer analysed them under guise of an edit.
WOW did that open my eyes, what he did (excellently I will concede) is publicly discuss how any low-level open the mail submissions reader will look at my carefully crafted first few thousand words sent to woo the lofty giants of the publishing world,
So yes I allow myself dramatic effect and say WOW again.
Perspective, the evening gave me perspective and initially I left feeling “Woe is me, I’m not there yet, I’m not up to this.” The weal’s left by the tiger’s jaws itched and burned as if ignited by the evening and the chittering in my head increased to full volume and all the self-doubt came churned within.
But in the end Marguerite has been my saviour. Sad, tragic, forced to retreat into a self -delusional fantasy world where she is top of the tree, all for the love of a husband who tells his mistress proudly “She married my title, not me!” Or words to that effect, the cad. I also see an intelligent woman who deep down realised all the things going on around her but chose to accept them for what they were in exchange for the flimsy adulation and excitement that her singing allowed. I am not a debutante or a socialite (or if I am I don’t know it yet) and do not have endless funds to feed my dream. Even the cost of self-publishing is something I will need to budget and plan for, therefore I lack Marguerite’s ability to feed my delusion except by …
Getting back to the keyboard, pulling up the manuscript, giving it a final once over in light of the lessons learnt at the Public Edit and … releasing it out into the harsh brutal world of reality. It needs to be read by others as Marguerite needed to be heard by others. I don’t particularly care because I know it is good in my mind and somewhere among the 1,500 million English speakers out there I believe there are at least 1% (a mere 15 million) like-minded people and waiting for the damn thing to get published!
Who cares, I am back.