Neil Rathmell – writer

150+ essays on literary topics

Category Archives: Fiction

Lies, damned lies and novels

Stories are part of what makes us human because part of being human is the habit, good or bad, of telling lies.

March 7, 2022 · Leave a comment

A frustrated singer

“A frustrated singer should be content to be a frustrated singer; he shouldn’t try to become a singer of marsias.” In other words, a writer should not attach himself to any political or religious group and become their writer. Singers should sing their own songs and, if they are prevented from doing so, should accept their fate and remain silent.

January 31, 2022 · Leave a comment

Lord, what fools these normal people be!

Young people take themselves too seriously. It’s part of growing up and easy for grown-ups to make fun of.

September 12, 2021 · Leave a comment

Making it up

Each new novel is the start of another phone call from a scammer.

August 29, 2021 · Leave a comment

In the beginning were the words

There are certain words and phrases that are so closely linked to a particular source that the association is never lost. Such words and phrases must be used cautiously, if … Continue reading

May 4, 2021 · Leave a comment

Frankenstein meets the Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison’s reputation depends on one thing, Invisible Man, a novel, the only one he wrote, published in 1952. Mary Shelley’s reputation depends on several things: being the wife of … Continue reading

April 7, 2021 · Leave a comment

The unwanted

Kamala Markandaya published her seventh novel, The Nowhere Man, in 1972. The huge success of her first novel, Nectar in a Sieve, published in 1954, had not been repeated and … Continue reading

March 24, 2021 · Leave a comment

Again! Again!

It is a refrain familiar to parents who read bedtime stories to their children. A familiar story can never be heard often enough and must be told as nearly as … Continue reading

January 27, 2021 · Leave a comment

Vladimir Nabokov’s way with words

Joseph Conrad, born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, is widely admired as a master of English prose, which is all the more remarkable since his first language was Polish and his … Continue reading

December 30, 2020 · Leave a comment

The novel of the film

Water by Bapsi Sidhwa is the novel of the film by Deepa Mehta. ‘The film of the novel’ is a much more familiar phrase, the subject of many discussions about … Continue reading

November 6, 2020 · Leave a comment