‘I cannot say which I prefer; which I would most like to see finished’. This I wrote in reference, below, to two of Luigi Narsceni’s incompleted tales. It was, perhaps, a thoughtless observation, for Narsceni’s stories delight despite their unfinished status. Like them we may: but do we dare ask for the fatal polish? Do we dare desire completion? Wouldn’t this ruin everything?
And yet did I not suggest, hint and/or politely consider the potent possibility of someone else taking Narsceni’s reins and running with his half-chewed ideas? That I most certainly did. Playing devil’s advocate, maybe, but it’s a thought I’d like to take a stroll with, all the same. To what extent might we license the arrival of such a ‘finisher’ – and would this be all they were – a mere framer of somebody else’s picture – or would they deserve more credit than this?
More importantly, would they ever exist? Who wants to pick up someone elses scraps and turn them into something more wholesome?
Look at it another way: writers have always been scavengers, constantly grazing on the plains of other people’s stories and ideas. Creativity is not about creation out of nothing, but a series of somethings: it is about the ability to assemble, stitch and edit – to steal what looks good, and toss away what doesn’t. The best writers (and, indeed, artists of any sort) are canny vultures with a taste for good meat and absolutely no manners when it comes to taking that meat.
So what’s to stop someone waltzing along and ‘borrowing’ some of Narsceni’s starting points? Absolutely nothing. Of course, no one will ever be blatant about it. Narsceni’s tales will be transposed, I’m sure; twisted to suit someone elses needs. But we can be sure that they will, in one form or another, be stolen. The world is stolen goods. Nothing is or will ever be sacred when an artist is involved. It will only look so.
Meanwhile I challenge someone to do their theft in the open; to commit their writerly crime in full view. Why not? Here’s an idea; why don’t you steal one of Boris Yashmilye’s unwanted titles and one of Luigi Narsceni’s unfinished stories and make a go of it? Don’t be bashful or embarrassed. Step forward and show your guilty face! Steal away to your heart’s content! Take these two toys and glue them together. See what you can make of what others half-made for themselves. Be honestly creative…