Hi Ian, how are you today?

Yesterday, Savidge Reads took an excited Novel Insights along to see Ian McEwan talking with composer Michael Berkeley about their collaboration on the opera For You, and discuss the relationship between music and the written word and how they work harmoniously together (excuse the pun).

A not-very-good picture of Ian McEwan and Michael Berkeley speaking at the event

Admittedly, the real draw with this event was to see Ian McEwan talk as he’s a bit of a hero for me. I’ve loved all five of the novels I’ve read by him (Atonement, The Cement Garden, The Innocent, Enduring Love, On Chesil Beach).

He’s one of those rare authors that writes books that offer a wide variety of plot, and that I trust will be excellent – which is why when I went to get my signed copy of Solar I came over a bit silly and all I could think of to say was ‘Hi Ian, how are you today’ as if I bump into him every day!

Savidge Reads made the point that as readers we so sometimes feel as if we know an author a bit because we’ve read their books and I guess writing does invite a strange sort of intimacy.

Posing in front of the fabulous book display at the South Bank

I was interested by a comment that Ian McEwan made about how he and Michael felt that they wanted to take a realistic approach to opera, in contrast to the traditional dramatic style which often contains elements of magic. I’ve been to one opera (Turandot), which I loved because of the emotional style, so it made me smile a bit to hear that McEwan, through the process of collaborating with Berkeley was converted to enjoying the over-the-top slightly less-real elements of opera. I can see how For You ( which explores the relationship between a mature, boasting artist and his youthful self, and a deluded, murderous woman) would contain elements that marry well with the big emotional style of Opera.

We both had a great night as you can see from the cheesy smiles. I will be reading my cherished signed-copy of Ian McEwan’s latest book Solar very soon and posting my thoughts of course.

Some related links:

Do you like going to author events? What do you think music adds to the written word? Are you an Ian McEwan fan too?

7 responses to “Hi Ian, how are you today?

  1. Oh I do like the picture of the two of us… I might have to pop one of the ones of us aged 4 on my blog at some point. I dont know what happened to us last night, I blame tiredness for the hysteria and my silly comment ‘could you sign it for Simon… which is my name!’ Oh deary deary me, we arent cool are we?

  2. Pingback: Simon’s Bookish Bits #14 « Savidge Reads

  3. That’s a great picture of the two of you but I think I like the one Simon posted of the two of you as 4 year olds much better. 🙂

    I must say, Atonement as an opera would be quite interesting.

    And I can relate with being tongue tied when meeting authors. I never know what to say so I just keep smiling and smiling and smiling…

    • Smiling is good. I don’t think it’s so bad to be a bit tongue-tied, I’m sure it’s nice for writers to feel they create an impression on people! Ahhh that is a lovely memory that picture. I can remember the moment and that was over 20 years ago!

  4. Ha ha, you two make me laugh. I went to Joe Hill’s booksigning last week and I was like a giggly schoolgirl! I’m so uncool!

    • Ha, I’m glad it’s not just me 🙂 Well I’m sure the writers would prefer it that way than for us not to be bothered at all…

  5. Pingback: And here are the books I read while I was away… | Novel Insights

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