It occurs to me now, reading through those final stanzas, that what I was trying to say – or even, perhaps, enact – was a perfectly, even banally, simple thought: namely, that an event is an event, and although we may cast about us for reasons and causes, none of these will undo the event. So it was, I suppose, to some with the crucifixion of Christ (and I was lost in wonder at the accidental effect obtained here when I translated some of the lower-case ‘h’s into upper-case); but so it also is (and there are plenty of contemporary novelists around to remind us of this, Don DeLillo to take but one example) with more mundane occurrences. Maybe it’s mundane, maybe it’s apocalyptic, I’m not sure, but I cannot shake off the effect produced on me by William Burroughs’s remark about ‘that terrible moment when we all see what’s on the end of everybody’s fork’. I don’t think Burroughs was an ecologist, and if he’d met one he’d probably have shot her/him; but that brutal condemnation of the irredeemable event (and reminder that all events, whatever they may say, are irredeemable) resonates for me with the – portrayed; fictionalised; traduced – image of MS; forever known, although there have been so many competitors for the appellation – only as ‘Michael Scott, the Magician’.

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