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September 22, 2019

[Spoiler alert]

When I set about writing this particular blog, I hadn’t realised there were five ‘fields’ in the novel to talk about. I was vaguely thinking about two or three, but it seems they’re more of a theme than that. Each of them were scenes of pivotal moments in Lydia's life.

First, there are the school playing fields at Great Mounts College, where Lydia was saved from the bullies, Madie and Tates. The college and its fields were based on my own college at Hinckley, John Cleveland College, where, it so happens, I overheard the idea that inspired the awful events on the recreation ground later in the same chapter.

Second, that recreation ground. It was based on the real rec behind B...

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...

February 4, 2018

In real life, I witnessed him begin the slow process of death by many mini-strokes. In the novel, he represents Moses’ right-hand man.

His name is a direct reference to Joshua of the Old Testament, the man who led the Israelites into the Promised Land after forty years wandering in the wilderness. That man was known as Joshua, son of Nun. The Hebrew name ‘Nun’ means either ‘fish’ or a type of fish. I simply modernised and translated it to Joshua Fish.

As a contemporary friend of Lydia, he tells her about his unusual childhood, raised by an old guy acting as an informally adoptive guardian. That unnamed fellow, who we learn used to ‘lay down the law a bit’, is a reference to Moses, to whom...

October 12, 2017

The life of a slave has not always been a disagreeable existence. Often, it was quite comfortable and felicitous, comparable to modern employment, with benefits and security, even career development. The slave wouldn’t have dreamed of protesting his predicament. It was the way the world was and to him it was all right and proper. Perfectly fine and dandy. He wouldn’t have seen it as we see slavery today. He would have seen it as we see employment. To the slave, whatever word his culture used for slavery would pretty much mean ‘employment with benefits, security, and accommodation’.

He wouldn’t have seen it as wrong. He wouldn’t have been conscious that the social structure he had inhabited...

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