Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Recent Literary Discoveries...

From the British Foghorn Company Home Library come the latest in our series, tracing the influence of David Frost on world literature. Here, in two exclusive extracts, we reveal his influence on two of the key figures in modern writing.

Edgar Allen Poe - from "The Pit and The Paradine"

“The other night I dreamed that David Frost entered my chamber, unbidden. As my eyes adjusted to the light, they met his and silently, unspoken, we both knew what must happen. Before I knew it, in a torrent of manuscripts, papers and empty cigar-cases we were upon each other, tumbling and writhing in a manner usually reserved for the most ungodly of crustaceans and many-tentacled sea-beasts. I dared not open my eyes again and bit hard upon my tongue for to stem the yells of confused pain and pleasure coursing through my veins.

The mantle-clock chimed five bells before I dared to look again into the half light of the morning and I saw nothing. The only tell-tale signs of the ghastly Paradine was a battered clipboard and an extensive list of writing credits etched into the plasterwork of the opposite wall. I did not stop weeping for over a week.”

George Orwell - from "1968" (Working title for "1984")

"It was a bright cold day in April as the clocks struck thirteen. Winston braced himself against the freezing wind and slipped inside the glass door of Levin Mansion, allowing a swirl of discarded variety show contracts to sweep through the door after him.

Inside, the atmosphere was one of faded glories and a smell of cigar smoke hit Winston squarely in the face. The lift was out of order again and Winston prepared himself for the climb up the stairwell. The lights flickered and intermittently cut out, part of the economy drive to make sure as much power as possible was diverted towards the Rediffusion studios in Frostville One. On each landing of the stairwell, Winston was confronted by a giant poster of that face, the face of the 30-year old man that was inescapable wherever you happened to walk. Winston paused to rest his varicose veins and stared briefly at the image before him. The eyes appeared cold, hard, ruthless even but there was something about that face that made you want to be interviewed by him. YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING DAVID FROST ran the caption underneath the poster.

Inside the flat, a familiar voice rang out from the telescreen mounted into the wall. It appeared to be one of the political interviews that appeared on a nightly basis. It didn't matter who was being interviewed. The ruthless questioning of the presenter would see that whichever political victim happened to appear on the show being reduced to a quivering wreck before disappearing, never to be seen again. The nightly routine was predictable. The interview would be followed by the 1 hour's hate. The familiar shape of Lew Grade would flash up on screen for 10 minutes and all around Frostasia houses would be filled with people stamping their feet and screaming abuse at the grainy black and white image. This would be followed by an episode of The Avengers, an example of the depravity and baseless morals of the people who lived in ATVland. Frostasia were currently at war with ATVland and allies with South BBCetia. Winston was sure this hadn't always been the case and thought that it only been a matter of months since the war had been against South BBCetia and images of Hugh Carleton-Greene had flashed up in the 1 hour's hate, but he couldn't tell for certain whether this had ever actually happened.

Winston reflected on his work in the Ministry Of Light Entertainment. He spent his days re-editing old programmes into Frostspeak, or removing all reference to those considered undesirables. Today had been a busy day, eradicating all reference to Peter Cook from the televisual output of the last few years. He could barely remember the language that came before Frostspeak had become pervasive but snippets still existed in his conscience. Distant memories of being able to say "Hello" to someone, rather than having to say "Hello, good evening and welcome", or being able to refer to last week rather than to "That was the week that was" flashed through his mind....."

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