Artful by Ali Smith

By Ali Smith

Provides a meditative selection of writings at the nature of artwork and storytelling and comprises tribute parts to iconic writers and artists all through history.

summary: provides a meditative selection of writings at the nature of artwork and storytelling and accommodates tribute parts to iconic writers and artists all through heritage

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Mud, you said. Mug, I said. Mud, you said again. Then you said the word: fog. Then the word: town. Where? I said. Where you were? Oliver, you said. Twist. How’d you know I’m reading Oliver Twist? I was about to say. But you’d begun to snore. If only I’d reimagined you without your snoring. But then it wouldn’t have been true, would it? It wouldn’t have been you. I lay there beside you, beside myself in the dust and grit of you, because though you were gone you were here, and what would happen next?

I’ve moved a really heavy chair. I’ve changed things. And I’ve read sixteen lines in a novel and I’ve thought several things about them and none of this with you, or to do with you; I even read the phrase ‘item of mortality’ and thought of something other than you. Time heals all wounds. Or, as you used to say, time achilles-heels all wounds. Then you would tell the story of Achilles’s mother dipping him in the protective river, holding him by the heel between her finger and thumb; that’s why the heel got missed out, didn’t get protected.

Then you groaned, stepped back and went through to the front room, left the doors all open behind you. You sat down in front of the off television. You came back from the dead to watch tv? I said. You didn’t say anything. I switched it on. You sat slumped in front of the looped footage on BBC 24 of a few young people in hoods loping about in a hunched way in front of a Debenhams. The announcers talked about riots and people phoned in sounding outraged over footage which repeated itself, then repeated itself again.

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