This is tough, unremitting and depressing going but essential reading as we wind down to the end of empire. Mirrored in here are the actions of our own civilisation; just substitute terrorist for barbarian (as A Short History of Progress suggests). I do believe though that Coetzee is ambivalent about who are the true barbarians. Might they not be the enforcers of empire itself? The armies (and police forces)?
And are we at the end? Is there even an end? The author writes that: “Empire has located its existence not in the smooth recurrent spinning time of the cycle of the seasons but in the jagged time of rise and fall, of beginning and end, of catastrophe.” Indeed so far all civilisations have fallen so it’s as well to have an allegory for the times – tough, unremitting and depressing though it may be.
As part of being on the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, we get an option to give Ashton Walks away for zero, nothing, zilch. In the spirit of Monty Python‘s banker sketch, I’m not quite sure how this works for us but from about eight o’clock tomorrow that’s how much the eBook will cost. For 24 hours only.
Ashton Walks is now on Kindle for the princely sum of £1.91. It’s gone global too ($3.08 in the United States of Americawl). I will get it out to Apple’s iBookstore but not before next year. This is a condition of signing up to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, for what it’s worth. I have no idea but “not very much” is the most likely value.
So, grab your soon-to-be-collectable first edition.
Our newest publication houses five loosely linked short stories inspired by a walk in the Somerset countryside to the west of Bristol. This work grew out of an idea of writing a set of connected stories. We wanted to do something new, having already published on the themes of Hair and, unsurprisingly, Hidden Bristol.