Skip to content

Not King Lear

by Jeff Phelps on June 17th, 2020

When lockdown first started there was a lot of talk of projects which came about due to enforced quarantine. King Lear was mentioned, and Paradise Lost, which Milton wrote in his cottage in Chalfont St Giles. Those rich or famous enough to ‘escape to the country’ did so. Others wrote, less ideally perfectly, in jail. Concentrated and uninterrupted work. It sounds like the perfect recipe for genius to emerge. But there’s more than an edge of anxiety to these times, too. What’s going on in the wider world can’t easily be squeezed out of what is written. Often what emerges in that time is allegorical or straight dystopia.
Who knows what new work will come out of the current crisis? There will be new plague novels (there already are) and there are already good websites and magazines publishing poetry as experience of where we find ourselves now.
Maybe it will take time for it all to shake down before commentators really start to make sense of it all. Will our coronavirus literature be in response to it, in protest at it or something else? Only time will tell.  Watch this space.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.