Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Spirit Spam

When I was young I used to love to read Rosemary Sutcliffe novels. I remember one was about a Norseman and his friend. The two of them were about to be executed and one said to the other that if he went first could he please move his arm as a signal after he had been decapacitated because he had always wondered if there was life after death. His companion's hand didn't move after the deed was done and the main protagonist, if I remember correctly, susequently escaped.

This was my favourite reading matter when I was a child, and I don't remember feeling upset or disturbed, merely interested - because it wasn't something that had occurred to me before.

The reason I mention this now is that something weird is happening with my spam. Almost eight months ago now my brother Huw died. Then a few weeks later one of my husband's ex-colleagues, Ralph, also died very suddenly. Now I find that I keep getting spam from someone called Ralph and someone called Hugh - it has been going on for several months now. It is as if their spirits are trapped in the blogospere and they are trying to speak to me. Unfortunately they seem to have very little to say.


Blogger Lee said...

Seriously strange. I've spent the time over my morning coffee imagining all sorts of stories with this as an element. Are you certain, Clare, that you're not sending them yourself, a la Lasdun's The Horned Man? (which, by the way, I recommend highly)

Wed Jul 05, 07:33:00 am  
Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

Clare, I loved Rosemary Sutcliff as a child. I have bought various of her books for my own girls (usually second hand via Amazon as many are out of print).

The excerpt you describe is seared on my memory. I never forget reading that passage. It had a profound effect on me. I think it was the first time as a child I read something that "did not work out" if you know what I mean.

As for the spirits, I suspect randomness is to blame, but I agree it must be spooky and unsettling.

All my best

Wed Jul 05, 08:36:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

I'm getting spam from 'Beulah' which, according to dictionary.com is "The land of peace described in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress".

Wed Jul 05, 11:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure I replied to this already, but it's gone, so I'm trying to remember what I wrote.

Lee: You recommend such interestingly-sounding books. I shall investigate. And yes, it is a good platform for a story. I think the whole of this internet field is ripe for stories.

Maxine: Great to find another Sutcliffe fan - I think it's sad she's out of print. I used to devour them, one after the other. I think I learnt a lot too - although I didn't realise at the time. And how strange we both remember that same passage. Yes, and it was unusual - people you had become attached to in the narrative don't generally die in most tales for children.

Jonathan: That is quite beautiful - spam from the land of peace.

Mon Jul 10, 11:31:00 pm  

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