Tuesday, December 01, 2009
The Case of the Mechanical Turd (Slight Return)
If and when, as can only be a matter of time, a prime-time detective series is commissioned devoted entirely to Aspern Papers-style skulduggery surrounding the literary afterlife of Philip Larkin, and featuring a lovable rogue of a hardbitten Hull gumshoe, the saga of the Mechanical Turd will transfer irresistibly from the page to the screen, I am sure. [...] While the Keyesian intertext [in Larkin’s ‘Poem for Penelope abt. the Mechanical Turd’] acquits our man of the charge of gratuitous abuse of a not-quite student girlfriend, it adds further evidence to the already-swollen dossier of his gratuitous abuse of Sidney Keyes (1922-1943). What’s it all about then?, our TV detective will ask of his bewildered sidekick over a half of mild in the Gardener’s Arms, before bearing down on the Brynmor Jones Library in search of a foxed copy of Eight Oxford Poets and, with any luck, an answer that will have our man Larkin bang to rights.
(‘Larkin and Sidney Keyes, or, The Case of the Mechanical Turd’, continues in current issue of About Larkin...)