Monday, 16 February 2015
In Our Time, with Evelyn Bagg
Evelyn: Thankyou Ralph. Now, this week we....
Announcer: Ahem. Its not Ralph, its Philip.
Dear me, I’m so sorry David. As I was saying, this week I’m joined by three outstanding British literary experts and we’ll be discussing the life and work of childrens’ author, Dame Esme Golightly. First, on my left is feminist and occasionally violent protester, Norah Futoff. To my right is Emeritus Professor of Things People May Have Once Said, Kenneth Wiggly, whilst across the table is our old friend, poet Seamus Goat. Welcome, all!
Now, whilst Seamus gets himself off the table and on to a chair, I’d like to ask you, Norah, what first sparked your interest in the books of Esme Golightly.
Norah (for it is she):
Well Evelyn, before I got the call to come on your programme, I’d never beeping heard of the woman, let alone read any of her beeping books. But I did skim through one on the way over here......”Marjorie’s Curious Holiday” it was called and a right load of mid-30s middle class beep it was too. All about a nice little girl with nice little friends who foil a gang of foreign agents. Absolute beep. I also noticed that the agents were “swarthy” and all the nice little beepers where white and that none had spent any time at all in a correctional facility.
Prof Wiggly: Oh I really must protest!
Norah: Protest away beephead
Evelyn: Well, I suspected that Mrs Golightly’s creations might raise the temperature....
Nevertheless, I must try to put the stories into some sort of context. Golightly was writing about a world of nannies and nurseries, of an England ruled by a gentleclass of bank managers and capable caring housewives who played bridge, a land where summer weekends resounded to the thwack of leather on willow, and church clocks stood forever at ten to three....
Sean Goat: Beepocks! Who needs that sort of tripe?
Prof Wiggly: Mrs Golightly’s books were hugely popular
Sean Goat: Aye, and some of ‘em even found their way over to Ireland. Me brother an’ I used to draw tits on the pictures.
Evelyn: So, right – if I can try to bring all these threads together, would it be fair to say that time has not dealt kindly with Mrs Golightly’s offerings; that socio-economic changes have in fact rendered them utterly obsolete and that they bring nothing meaningful to bear on our understanding of contemporary human intercourse?
Sean Goat: And there was none of that in the ones I drew tits on.
Prof Wiggly (sob): I’m going to the lavvie
Evelyn: And indeed, time has beaten us once again. It remains for me to thank my distinguished guests for contributing towards yet another completely useless edition of In Our Time. Goodbye.