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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...

March 11, 2018

This is the expensive Italian pipe stolen by the Brighton pickpocket who was subsequently the main source of inspiration for the physicality and personality of Maggie in I Am Not Gog. It was on our anniversary and we had decided to treat ourselves to a stay at the Hilton Metropole hotel. We’d had a nice night out and were walking back to the Hotel very merrily indeed. I was smoking a different pipe, which gave the pickpocket, who was coming the other way, a conversational ‘in’ by her chirpily asking me why I smoked them. I explained that I wanted to avoid the chemicals they put in cigarettes and mass-marketed tobaccos. She laughed at my drunken earnestness and gave me a hug, during which she...

December 10, 2017

The image here was the first, rudimentary sketch of Lydia by Su Koh. It is nicely loaded with ambiguity and foreboding. Ambiguity of identity is central to the whole novel. This is conveyed in the name of I Am Not Gog’s protagonist, Lydia Japhethson.

There has been much speculation as to who the original Gog of Magog were and where their homeland was. I found the most commonly accepted location was somewhere in western Asia Minor, or stone age Anatolia, as it then was. At the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy about Gog of Magog, it had long been the empire of Lydia, which lasted 1200–546 BC. Ezekiel lived 622–570 BC.

It’s important to bear in mind that a tribe (or two) coming from the Lydian empi...

August 16, 2017

How might the rantings of a grumpy prophet in ancient Babylon come to throw light on who was really to blame for a murder in a quiet Leicestershire town in 2005? Or, for that matter, how might it help us figure out what the enigmatic UMDIP might be?

In one, short paragraph, the gist of a particular prophecy given by Ezekiel (38-39) is this: In the ‘latter times’, God will cause Gog of the land of Magog, in league with many other countries around the world, to besiege and attack Israel. God will then cause great losses among the attackers, by both turning them against each other and giving them some mysterious disease. Thus Israel will prevail and the whole thing will, once and for all, demo...

July 29, 2017

The surface story of Lydia’s journey is a fun and easy read (with some dark moments), and it is not at all necessary for the reader to even be aware of the complex allegorical scheme behind it in order to enjoy that story on its own terms. However, the allegory is there for enjoyment, too. It’s like a big puzzle for the reader to discover the clues and signposts and figure out what it all might mean when she puts the pieces together. I find that sort of thing stimulating and fun.

The allegory would only be completely obvious to people who are already very clued-up on various subjects. I hope most reasonably bright people with a passing familiarity with those subjects would get something fro...

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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.

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I Am Not Gog. A novel by Matthew James Hunt.

© 2015-2020 Matthew James Hunt. INKTAP Publishing