‘Even the most scrupulous readers of Golding’s work will find it hard to get the image of the author-as-rapist out of their mind when they settle down to re-read his work’, writes Kathryn Hughes in the Guardian (a newspaper, apparently), responding to John Carey’s pre-released biographical revelations, currently getting the knickers of the literati in an unholy sort of twist (with or without their consent).
Is she right? I’d have to re-read Golding to find out – and I have no real intention of doing this. What I will say, however, is that I have always struggled to re-read the works of Carlos Magnificas without thinking of his fetish for crumpets (as revealed by that deleterious biographer, Henrietta Krenk, in her scurrilous and sedatious tome, The Grease of Crumpets: A Critic’s Career). Whenever I touch on one of his more profound ideas, my mind throws forward the image of a hot-buttered crumpet lying in some, well, uncompromising position. Not a pretty thought.