Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Ghost Library at Elsinore (cont.) [Something is rotten in the State of Denmark]
Emerging from the Panton Street Odeon after seeing The Seventh Seal again (I see it once every fifty years). I realise that I now have something in common with the knight (the amazing Max Von Sydow) and his squire (Gunnar Bjornstrand) - I will fail to reach the same destination ... since they are bound for Elsinore.
And I am emerging also from an exchange of messages between my Peckham studio and the very castle in which the story of the Gloomy Dane is set. The author of the official guide to Hamlet's home contacted me a year ago having heard of my work the Ghost Library (which came down this week from the walls of the Royal Academy). His enquiry sounded friendly and was accompanied by a copy of the interesting guidebook: he intimated that Elsinore might welcome a showing of my work when it was done; a cherished idea optimistically announced as a probability earlier in the blog.
What in fact ensued was the most frustratingly tedious correpondence I've ever entered into. Not only were my sometimes light-hearted exegeses of the work (was it Mao or Lenin who said you can't make a Hamlet without cracking jokes?) crushed by page after numbing page of wilfully obtuse pedantry, but it transpired that my correspondent lacked the authority to accept the work and moreover would not support any plan to show it in the castle at all.