I am happy to have with me once again that inimitable poet, Tallis Steelyard, to talk a little about his latest adventures in Port Naain with his esteemed cartographer friend, Benor Dorfinngil.
It is, I freely confess, a sore point. I feel somehow that my honour has been traduced, that my good name has been taken in vain. Indeed I, Tallis Steelyard, leading poet of my generation, has been shamelessly taken advantage of.
It started simply enough when I was asked to promote a short tale, ‘A Bad Penny.’ You’ve heard of it perhaps? I thought not. Perhaps I’ll have to explain further.
Some petty hack called Jim Webster, a writer of penny dreadfuls of the worst sort, inveigled his way into the confidence of an old friend of mine, one Benor. Now in his youth Benor lived for a while in Port Naain and we were (and still are) friends. So doubtless under the influence of a heady combination of generously plied strong drink and even more generously plied flattery, Benor started telling tales of his adventures in our proud city. So many of these stories were there that this Webster chap produced a collection of them under the title of the ‘Port Naain Intelligencer’.
Are you still with me? Anyway, I have to tell you, as between friends, (because already I realise from your sympathetic disposition and charming manner that we are destined to be friends) that the stories were not perhaps as I would have told them. Obviously Benor, young man about town as he was back in those far off days, was full of himself as young men are. So as he told the stories, they tend to centre largely on his antics. To be fair to Webster, not all his antics, Webster still has too much good taste to go into too much detail about what young Benor got up to.
But setting this aside, anybody reading them would gain a very lopsided view of life in Port Naain, and frankly would learn almost nothing about the literary scene and my own role as one of the leading figures there-in.
In spite of this I was somehow cajoled into helping promote ‘A Bad Penny,’ which is merely the latest of this collection.
Let me assure you immediately that I did not do it for the money. This penny-a-liner, this producer of tedious pot-boilers never actually thought to offer me any!
Still the story is out there, please, I beg you, read it and decide for yourself whether or not I am right to feel that my real part in the proceedings has been scandalously down-played.
Stay tuned for my review of Tallis and Benor’s latest adventures – coming soon!
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