FOLLOW:
  • Black RSS Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon

November 17, 2019


Do atheists recoil from a Caravaggio painting if the subject depicted is religious? I think such a response must be very rare. Ask the same question about a work of modern fiction. Slightly different, isn’t it? People choose to read a work of fiction because they are interested in some aspect of it, such as genre, the subject, the author, the cover, the price, advertising, recommendation. If one of these aspects disinterests them, they wont read the book. Fair enough. The aspect we’re talking about here is ‘subject’, of course. At what point would your average atheist say, ‘No, that’s too much religion for me, thank you,’ and put the book down?

I can only invert the question: at what point...

October 20, 2019

Something personal happened to me about this time last year that blew my mind. As it relates to allegory and so the novel, I Am Not Gog, I feel it is appropriate to share it with you here, and I feel it is worth sharing because it is so astonishing. I’ll take this opportunity to give a brief primer about the use of allegory in literature and how it is pitched in the novel I Am Not Gog, which I intended to do sometime here, anyway.

From its most basic definition as ‘symbol’, the word ‘allegory’ can describe all art and its perceivable component parts. But that renders the word useless, so, we all agree that we are talking about a conscious use of symbology by an artist or writer to convey a...

August 18, 2019

Where did the story come from? It was a long time ago, but I can remember a dream, and I usually say that that was the starting point. I think it was the start. I think it was the spark that took some ideas I was working on and put life into it, ignited my passion for it, urged me to find out more about what preceded the strange scene I had dreamed, and what might happen after it.


I was taking a sabbatical in Malaysia for a couple of years, practising the craft of fiction by writing short stories that were for my eyes only – crazy stuff that was just me allowing my creativity free reign. There was even one about how giraffes, all over the world, were suddenly able to fly. Mad, embarrassing t...

May 12, 2019

I'm not keen on people wearing too much slap. This is a personal preference purely about personal taste, not anything else. Make-up is morally neutral. I say this because there is a point in the story of I Am Not Gog where make-up is allegorically associated with truth, whereas some folk might rather associate make-up with a sort of dishonesty (making you appear different to how you truly are). I don't see it that way, and I'll explain why in a bit. I first need to introduce three minor characters to you, all with some meaning to their names, who in some way support or help Lydia: Pru, Verity, and Bronya.

The first, Pru the landlady, has a very straightforward meaning, even obvious. Her nam...

April 14, 2019

Here is an example of a boarded-up Edwardian terraced house in Grimsby, the likes of which served as a squat for Maggie and the Eriphions, where they held what Lydia calls their 'Mad-hatter's Tea Party'. To be fair, this party only went pear-shaped from Lydia's perspective, because everyone else in attendance drank magic-mushroom tea and were about to embark on an hallucinogenic trip. It probably went perfectly well for them.

In a wider shot you can see most of the houses here are boarded up. At the time this photograph was taken in 2006, only the one on the left and the white one, second from the end on the right, were occupied. Which of any of them might be 83 New Redlord Row, is up to you....

March 9, 2019


This scene came as a surprise to me very late on in the writing of I Am Not Gog, and it was great fun for me, at least. It comes at a time just prior to a great crisis in Lydia’s life. It foreshadows a moment of great vulnerability and fear for Lydia, when Karl makes his most sleazy and sneaky move on her.

It’s her birthday and she’s having breakfast when three contractors come in, Karl, Fred, and George. Karl introduces himself and tries to chat her up. In light of this blog's title, you might now suspect that these three represent Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Georg W F Hegel. They do.

Marx and Engels were students of Hegel, who, of course, formulated the Hegelian Dialectic. Simply p...

February 24, 2019

[Spoiler alert]

Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of I Am Not Gog’s publication. There are two churches in Lydia’s story. Four years after publishing it, I have only just realised myself that their two appearances in the novel both happen to separately precede events that lead to the death of innocent men, each of which in turn precipitates great upheaval in Lydia’s life. This was not done consciously, I’m sure. The two church scenes developed completely independent of each other. The story called for their existence and their natural place within it. As writer’s often say, writing fiction is sometimes like excavating dinosaur skeletons. You’re often discovering the story, rather than de...

January 13, 2019

There are two particularly cruel scenes in the novel I Am Not Gog, and the second of them is also quite distasteful. I’m sorry about that, but they were both important to the story and partly based on real events.

The first involves a couple of nasty girls at school: Madie and Tates, the two bullies who set about ripping young Lydia’s false fingernails off. Their names are simple anagrams of two English words. If you want to cheat and see what they are anagrams of, I’ve put the solutions after the space at the bottom of this blog.

As ghastly as the scene is, it actually happened to the real-life person who inspired the character of Lydia. I used to work at one of the social projects she freq...

December 9, 2018

With Christmas approaching, it seems fitting to take the opportunity to share some insights about Lydia's night of clubbing at Christmas. As it involves numbers, I'll use it as an excuse to share all the other insights about numbers and dates in I Am Not Gog.

On the seventh day after meeting her, Joshua texts Lydia that he loves her. Seven weeks after meeting him, Lydia finally yields to his love at the nightclub. Seven months after meeting him, Joshua suffers that which would motivate her to take possession of her own liberty. This is an example of an underlying use of numbers to support the allegory, in this case centred around an incident in the nightclub.

The club, where Joshua finally w...

November 18, 2018

I am proud to declare that I am the originator of what is probably the most obscure and impenetrable metaphor in the history of English literature. I wish it wasn’t so obscure, but it pretty much had to be what it is. In order to put it into context, I will first need to partly run through the allegorical themes of water and the wilderness that meander through the novel I Am Not Gog.

The two themes meet most intimately in Joshua’s poem in the Country Park. The wilderness allegory draws on the forty years the Biblical Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land. There were forty-two places visited by the Isrealites after their escape from Egypt. These are k...

Please reload

ARCHIVE:
Please reload

SEARCH BY TAGS:
Please reload

This is a repository of insights about the novel I Am Not Gog (and future work). There will be new insights every month or so until we have a full library and nothing is left unexplored. If you came here to find out more about the allegory of the novel, start by clicking HERE.

FOLLOW:
  • RSS feed for this blog
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on Facebook
I Am Not Gog. A novel by Matthew James Hunt.

© 2015-2019 Matthew James Hunt. INKTAP Publishing