Thursday, 8 September 2011

Almost on the eve of my television programme

The cursor is madly shaking as I write this, and my hatred of the world of modern computers is almost uncontrollable, and the Chinese woman at the screen near me in the Salerno Mailboxes seems to be going mad as well, but I have to go on writing my wretched blog because the television programme about me and my mother is about to be shown, on Crime and Investigation Network at 9p.m. next Tuesday, September 13th 2011.

Oddly enough, that will be the exact ninth anniversary of my mother's death, and this programme, which is called "The Last Will of Maria Hills", is about her almost as much as it is about me. How strange that, after so many postponements, they should have fixed it for her death day.

And it may be my death day as well if I have to stay much longer in this modern hell of an internet and phone agency. The Chinese woman is alternately shouting and crying to someone over her headphones, someone has just sat down unpleasantly close to me, a vast multiracial crowd was only recently at the counter waiting hopelessly to be served. Italy is a beautiful country, but in its modern incarnation it is among the most crowded, infuriating and pressurised of European states.

Nevertheless, it can be so beautiful. This morning I went to Paestum where the three Greek temples rise from the ruins of the ancient city. Once you pass through the sunny walls you are in a different world, and the calm and serenity are unbelievable.

Most moving of all are the ancient paintings from the Tomb of the Diver, which are unique Greek pictorial art of the fifth century BC. Some show young men making love to each other at a symposium or following a flute girl, but the most significant of all is of the diver himself aiming for the pool of death. We cannot doubt as we look at this wonderful work of art that he will come up to the surface with a fuller understanding of things and a new life in union with the eternal.

But before I myself aim for the pool of death, I am going to be a television star. It is with infinite hope and only a little fear that I contemplate seeing and hearing myself on the screen, along with millions of others who will be able to watch in HD and see every chance stain on the colourful shirt and smart trousers I acquired in Otranto on the day of the filming to face the camera. What will they think of me? More important, will it encourage them to want to read the things I write, which are the most important things in my life to me?

As previous readers of this blog will know, my little book, "The Olinda Angel", extracts from which are read by my friend Bill Hicks on the programme, is available as a download from lulu.com at the cheap price of £4.95. A few blog posts back, there is a blob you can press to go straight to the site.

This book is perhaps a bit of a mess, but it is interesting as a rare record of murderous obsession. Most other of my writings are more pulled together artistically. I am probably best as an autobiographical writer, and at the length of 1000 words, but the short story that I published in Quadrant, which is much longer, called "To the Edge of Her World", was described by Les Murray as "a chilling masterpiece".

Anyway, that is my short plug for myself, which I hope you will forgive. And if watching the programme stimulates you to explore the work I have written as C.A.R. Hills, it will have more than fulfilled the hopes I repose in it.

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