My first words at this site
Last summer (2013) during a distinguished period of energetic indolence much of which was spent on the beach at Winchelsea, East Sussex, I read Hilary Mantel’s widely and rightly lauded novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.
Mantel introduced me to a word which had previously passed me by – “rustication”. Fall out of favour with a retributive monarch like Henry VIII and you could feel a heavy cold blade across the back of the neck. But if you were lucky you might simply be put out of sight – sent to the country; rusticated.
My rustication had recently happened towards the end of 2012. Without the slightest planning I had ended up in a small village in the beautiful Weald of Kent – population about 1500 – in an environment so completely different to Piccadilly, Leicester Square which I had quite recently said goodbye and farewell to.
A person rusticated, I deduce, is a rusticant – a noun, as migrant is a noun. Rusticant does not exist in my dictionaries. Thus I have invented a new word to which I lay claim with the title of this blog!
This blog is dedicated to what drives me: thought, politics, the arts, writing and the people that perform those vital duties in our daily lives.
The controversial H L Mencken gives me a succinct sub text to this blog:
“A writer’s job is to remember what the fundamentalists try to erase”
Part of this piece is repeated under the “About the rusticant” tab with some more insight into who and what thrills and inspires me. Authors, journalists, artists.
The weekend I chose to launch this work saw the knuckled headed Nazis of ISIS arrive in Mosul demanding the conversion of Christians to Islam under threat of decapitation. How charmingly medieval . The equally knuckled headed and fascistic Putin downed an airliner (yes he did down the airliner) in Ukraine taking the lives of 298 people about 80 of which were children; pitilessly scattering feeble final possessions across the sunflower fields of Ukraine. In my newspaper I saw a picture of Putin engaging with the hierarchy of The Orthodox Church. Those laughably garbed iniquitous, politically malleable, good men of the church put me right back inside Hilary Mantel’s books.
In my tranquil self -engaged corner of the world people have recently widely voted for isolation from a united Europe. Not since 1945 has a solid, united democratic European consensus and resolve been more required.
Freedom, democracy and The Enlightenment underwrite my life and the ethos of this work.
Welcome inside my world of words