OPINION K Iolo Jones

NWR Issue r26

Ten Million Chapters Are All the Same

The 1970s

The protagonist, a thinly veiled version of the author; another male, a named Welsh figure; and a physically attractive and intellectually stimulating young female who is a fully rounded character and definitely not an object, were conversing in a named location in Wales. The surrounding landmarks and topography were described accurately, with a focus on the most obviously recognisable features of that place. The prose was clear and measured; not inelegant, though decidedly uninspiring. The weather was in keeping with the tone of the scene. The protagonist carried himself in a way that symbolised his mood, which was, at that particular moment, thoughtful. An historical event had recently occurred, and the three characters were discussing its implications for the political future of Wales.

'An historical event has occurred with implications for the political future of Wales,’ said the protagonist. ‘What are your thoughts on this, secondary male character?'
'My opinion on this matter is quite clear,' said the secondary male character. ‘And I will tell you presently, repeating word for word things I wrote in various outlets over the years.'
The protagonist nodded, listening earnestly.
'That's interesting, and I value your opinion,' said the protagonist. 'However, I'm not certain I can agree. I feel differently about this matter, having come from a different social background. What do you think, intellectually stimulating female character?’
‘I have an interesting and educated opinion on this matter, being an intelligent female student at a perfectly respectable Welsh university.’
The protagonist looked at the intellectually stimulating young female as she spoke. ‘I fancy her,’ he thought.

An inconsequential event occurred in the narrative environment, providing a break in the proceedings. The two male characters gazed into the middle distance. The female stood by, wearing clothes. A reference to the landscape in this part of Wales during this period was noted by the narrator. Shortly, a peripheral character, male, and also a named Welsh figure, entered the scene. 

'I see you three characters are discussing the recent historical event that has taken place,’ the peripheral character said in a strong Welsh accent. His body language betrayed his general disposition, as well as the strength of his opinion on the matter. 'I am now going to give you my opinion. I possess a hard-line stance on this issue. I think it's time you all read some of this Welsh political philosopher, whom I will now quote verbatim. Then you'll see things my way.'
'Perhaps,' said the protagonist, thoughtfully. 'I hadn't thought of it that way. I will have to think some more about this.'
'I strongly advise you to do just that,' said the peripheral character, and exited the scene, having made his point.
'He drives a strong argument, that peripheral character,' said the protagonist, gesturing appropriately. 'I can't say I fully agree, but he does have a point, and I certainly respect his opinion.'
'Yes, he does have a point,' said the female character, 'and I too respect his opinion. ‘However, being an intellectually stimulating female, I shall bring ideas from my own studies at a perfectly respectable Welsh university to bear on my analysis of the situation.’
'We shall have to see how things transpire here in Wales,’ said the secondary character.

Ad infinitum

K Iolo Jones is a writer.

Ten Million Stars are Burning by John Osmond was published in the spring by Gomer and costs £11.99.


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