Right. I am back on track with this one. It is the novel which acts as a written companion to the passion of Port Talbot. After seeing the film I flet very strongly that I needed to try and see if I could engage fully with the narrative which had been set before me. I had a number of unanswered questions and I had hoped that the book would answer some of these.
1. I was deeply intrigued as to whether the numbered points in the film were taken from a poem. Indeed they are. It is a deeply enigmatic poem but full of feeling and spirit.
2. I was still very much confused about the animated “bird”. I still am. No answer in the book on this one.
3. The whole thing with the “door” on the beach. Doors have a lot of uses in myth as they act as both barriers and portals. the door thing is expanded upon within the book and a sufficiently succinct and coherent reason is given for their inclusion.
The film follows the book very accurately, but this is no surprise as the author gives the reason for this within the “foreword”. The artistic medium of the visual allowed Dave McKean to expand upon the book in lots of ways and I am now looking forward to the release of the DVD.
I believe that this novel does represent a true “gospel” narrative for a town. It draws upon but does not exclusively feature the Christian gospels and allows for another group of people to own and frame their own “story”. The words of the teacher “tell me your story” give credence to this. The narrator also helps us here in that he declares that they (ICU) have made us forget where we have come from so that we are blind to where we are going. This is a concept that was slightly lost within the film, and I’m not sure how it could have been achieved. It was, to me, one of the most illuminating parts of the book.