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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Nostalgia-Alan Silitoe-RIP.

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Alan Silitoe, one of our finest writers.

LONDON—British writer Alan Sillitoe, whose "Saturday Night And Sunday Morning," and "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner" chronicled the bleak postwar realities of the country's poor, died Sunday. He was 82.

Sillitoe, a leading member of the 1950s group of so-called angry young men of British fiction, was acclaimed for his uncompromising social criticism and depiction of domestic tensions -- often dubbed kitchen sink dramas.

The writer's son David said his father had died at London's Charing Cross hospital, but gave no other details.

Albert Finney starred in the adaptation of "Saturday Night And Sunday Morning," as a disillusioned young factory worker. In the "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner," Tom Courtenay portrayed a young delinquent whose athletic prowess is seized upon by authorities as proof of their ability to rehabilitate troubled youths.

"He put somehow forgotten places at center-stage," British poet Ian MacMillan told the BBC. "He made the ordinary life into a kind of poetry."

Recalling his own modest upbringing in Nottingham, central England, Sillitoe once recalled the smells of "leaking gas, stale fat, and layers of moldering wallpaper."

In 2008, the author was bestowed with the freedom of Nottingham -- an ancient ceremonial honor that allows recipients to drove sheep through the center of the city. He had been due to join other recipients at an event to celebrate the city earlier this month, but was forced to withdraw because of illness.

Sillitoe lived briefly overseas with Ruth Fainlight, the American poet he married in 1959, but later returned to Britain.

In 2007, Sillitoe published "Gadfly In Russia," an account of four decades of travel through Russia.

Born in 1928, Sillitoe left school at the age of 14 and worked in factories. He later served as a wireless operator in the Royal Air Force, including in British-controlled Malaya, now Malaysia.

Sillitoe is survived by his wife and the couple's son and daughter.

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RIP my friend, the anti-smoker nut jobs cant get you now.

4 comments:

Pat Nurse said...

I was very sad to hear about Alan's death. The end of an era and the loss of a great down to earth talent who spoke for a generation. Sillitoe was a lovely chap - inspirational. I met him last year when he gave us a tutorial at Nottingham Trent Uni. He demonstrated his great skill of morse code, told us stories of his service days, his poor background, and he told us where he got his ideas from for his stories. He also said that the money made for the producer of the film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was enough to buy the rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. In short, without Alan Sillitoe's film, there would be no James Bond franchise.
We need another working class hero to speak up for all of us who are still angry!

TheBigYin said...

Aye Pat, a great man indeed. I liked it when he said he'd cut down his smoking of the pipe...to 10 a day, lol.

Smoking never addled his brain, as some people try and suggest, as he went on to write another book that was published in 2007.

These people that try and suggest that smokers are somehow "dimmer" than non smokers are beneath contempt.

If I life to 82 then I'll be a happy and contented smoker.

Good luck tomorrow Pat, your onto a winner! Try not to fret when the results come in, you have no need to worry, you WILL do well.

Pat Nurse said...

Thanks John. Not sure I can be in L&H to hear the result come in as I didn't get my count guest list in on time. I might also pop along to Lincoln where I'm standing for the local council for UKIP and the two constituencies are some miles apart. I just hope we wake on Friday with something different and not just a new face dishing out the same old shite. I'm sure Sillitoe's characters would have hated modern health freakery Britain.
Keep the faith :)

Anonymous said...

Sillitoe, CS Lewis, Orwell, Huxley, Steiner, they'd all have been prevented from thinking the thoughts they thought and wrote had there been smoking bans like in Germany under Hitler or drinking bans in the US under the progressives because from soon after birth they'd have learned to recognize and accept the fact that the individual had no right to think, do or act on their own, unless the state permitted it first - all activity, choice, thus free thought, banned - unless it was something first approved by the government. This generation also had to work themselves up through the boot straps without relying on handouts like the current crop of earthly inhabitants seem to think necessary, a handout on the dole, constantly, for every little thing, which if we are lucky, will bankrupt the entire planet and force it back to its roots, thus full-circle round to where writers such as this one are back to the struggle of life as intended by nature which forces people to thus rely on their own individual beliefs, talents, desires, wishes and activities - with constant government nagging and demands pushed back out of power, which is as it should be - the real "natural" way, not all this fake-organic pro-banning pro-bully-state system we live under currently which is just all so much hype, lies and propaganda. Of course he'd be disgusted at today. So would the other writers mentioned who likewise disliked government's arrogant dictatorial behaviour based on lies and deception.

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