Further details of Edmund Ek’s identity crisis, first mentioned here, are squeezing between the shoulders of gossip and onto the solid surface of my dear honest desk. What at first seemed strange is growing stranger still. Not only has ‘Blumin’ Ek decided to go, in future, by the name of ‘Edmund the Honest’, but he is backing up the change with his behaviour – which is to say that he is actually is changing. Earlier this week he drove to the Norwegian coast with some friends and threw his precious ‘games console’ into the North Sea, hoping to prove, at last, that he is not addicted to this curious pastime – and that writing, now, is his one true love.
I know nothing about ‘games consoles’ (as you can probably tell) but I was always interested by Ek’s claims that they inspired, rather than disturbed, the imaginative writing process. It has worked for other novelists, I know, and I never saw any serious flaws in the argument. I am therefore a little disappointed to see him contradict his theory. Dust Jacket was, admittedly, a bad novel – but I was never sure that this was the end of the line for Ek. Nor did I ever think that he was the sort of writer to benefit from a ‘back to nature’ approach. He’s the sort of man, I’d say, who writes his best stuff when caught in the thick of things – not in a remote hut in a Norwegian wood, with only a bedraggled wildcat for company.
Still, we’ll have to wait and see what comes of this move. Perhaps Edmund the Honest’s Apologia will knock our socks off, displacing all thoughts of Edmund Ek’s masterful The Incredible Expletive Shock. Or perhaps not. Who can say?
Well, one person we might expect to hold a strong opinion on the subject would be ‘XX’ herself: Miss Heidi Kohlenberg, who usually has more than enough to say about her old husband. As yet, however, I have heard nothing from Heidi. Actually, I lie. I have heard that she is still recovering from the shock of the name change and unable to comment on subsequent happenings. Apparently she finds Edmund’s choice of the word ‘honest’ an especially amusing one. She has been laughing so much she hasn’t had time to say anything. When words do, at last, start tumbling through her lips, rest assured I will collect them in a bucket, rearrange them on a plate, and present them to you forthwith.