Poppies…12, 19-21, 43, 58, 101, 151, 156-7, 267

Back in June, I presented readers with the following news: ‘Forgive me, then, for dumping on your eager shoulders the dank and despondent news that Poppies: Book Two will not, in fact, be published this summer – nor, indeed, this year. Why? It’s a mystery. Some argue that there are ‘small teething problems’, whilst others claim that there is ‘no book at all’. [Jaymer] Veers himself has been conspicuously quiet.’

Since then, further details have dripped from the leaky tap of literary news. And not all is as bad as it seemed. Poppies: Book Two (the sequel, of course, to Poppies: Book One) will definitely not be appearing. But Poppies: The Index, most certainly will. No word on those ‘small teething problems’.

A new question pops its furry head out of the burrow of ponderment: What does that actually mean? Poppies: Book One, you may remember, consisted of a note on the translation of a book which has not yet/may never exist. The narrative, as it was/may yet be, could be gleaned from the sub-text. The advent of Poppies: The Index suggests a similar approach, with significantly more obliqueness. So far as I can tell, the novel will consist of the index of the non-existent novel to which the first novel was the translator’s note. The central story will, thus, be expanded – albeit on the sly. We will be able to tell from the index what sort of themes, what places and what people will/might appear in the text. But to what extent will we be able to construct a story out of it? Only time can tell. Suffice it to say, it will be an interesting experiment. Jaymer Veers (himself an experienced translator) is a wily writer, who does nothing without subjecting it first to deep, deep thought.

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