THE ANTONYM OF MELANCHOLY
by Democritus Minimus Natu
This novel concerns the attempts by a college to address a serious financial shortfall, brought about by the idiosyncrasies of the funding methodology. The strategy is to offer religion over the web.
One of the main protagonists is Arbuthnot, who had lived previously in Egypt, where he developed a friendship with Pontifex (now a Catholic priest), Burns (now a Rabbi) and al-Thesis (a Muslim, now a lecturer in an Egyptian university).
Through the plot, and the interactions between Arbuthnot and his current colleagues and his old friends, the novel addresses issues of religion and morality, of philosophy, of joy and melancholy, and of mystery. Despite this weighty subject matter the novel is essentially funny.
It also considers the process of poetic creativity and includes verse by Keats, Byron, Shelley, Leigh Hunt, Pope, as well as the author’s own.
The novel has colour and black and white illustrations, explanatory footnotes and appendices. Accompanying the novel is a CD of songs by Richard Thompson, Miller Anderson, MacAlias, Keef Hartley Band and Etta James.
“An 'Irish' Scots novel - flavours of Joyce, Flann O'Brien - a complete post-modern extravaganza on acid. Very funny, and a spot-on commentary on education today.” De Vouvray.
The novel, including the accompanying CD, costs £20. For details of how to purchase a copy, please email email@example.com. Click here to pay on Amazon.co.uk (ISBN 0 9550632 0 5) published 2005
THE FERTILE CRESCENT
by Democritus Minimus Natu
This novel follows on from and complements The Antonym of Melancholy. The plot again concerns the attempts by a college to address a serious financial shortfall. However, the strategies attempted on this occasion are different. They include experimentation with human fertility.
The discussions between Arbuthnot and his colleagues cover a wide range of topics including Creation, Evolution, Creativity, Fertility. The novel also focuses on literary creativity as Arbuthnot attempts to write a novel, and produces a range of poems based on the events.
On another level the novel is concerned with issues relating to the Oedipus myth, the problems of avoiding incest in a society where increasing numbers of people do not know their “natural” parents, the search for truth. It also takes a look at the da Vinci Code and its underpinning assumptions, and takes the reader on a magic carpet ride to the Rosslyn fish bar where the true nature of da Vinci’s code is explored.
Like The Antonym of Melancholy, The Fertile Crescent is, despite its serious subject matter, essentially humorous.