Local writer Paul Griffiths, a familiar figure on the 349 bus and man about Tenby town, saw one of his novels republished and its sequel published for the first time this month.
The earlier book ‘Let Me Tell You’ (2008), in which Shakespeare’s character Ophelia tells her own story up to the beginning of Hamlet using only the words she speaks in the play, is now out in a hand-bound edition from Henningham Family Press, to mark its fifteenth anniversary.
Paul’s new book ‘Let Me Go On’, begins with ‘O’ after her exit from Hamlet in the white space of a mysterious afterlife which she starts to explore, like Alice in Wonderland.
Here she meets new characters; but are they really new? As she discovers, they have something curious in common.
Rónán Hession writing for The Irish Times calls it ‘a dazzling, virtuosic short novel that raises subtle philosophical questions’ with ‘plenty of life and humour’.
Meanwhile, from the other side of Paul’s laptop comes ‘The Illusion Machine’ (Oxford University Press, in press), a chunky new edition (+/- 800 pages) of freshly-translated writings by the Hungarian composer György Ligeti, popularly known for the use of his music in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This tome’s publication date corresponds to Ligeti’s centenary year (2023) plus one.
The plus-one approach became a feature in the music world in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic caused many anniversary concerts to be postponed.
Regarded by sources close to Paul, who worked on it for almost seven years with no advance or financial compensation of any kind, as a white elephant, the book will be priced at university press levels, deemed unaffordable by many readers, but will be available for free on the internet with its many pirate websites.
The implications for Paul’s royalties as editor are gloomy. But the book itself, like some Manorbier-Newton residents during local cross-country runs, will be outstanding in its field, with libraries and music departments lining up for copies!