We all know this. To go inside these cracks is to court insanity, although there's the possibility of rewards.
Like extreme sports fanatics wearing GoPro cameras, the best writers and illustrators/artists engage in high risk antics and broadcast their results to the world.
|Flaviu Cernescu of Romania. Don't look down.|
Often it's not even labelled literature. Have you seen the work of Oliver Jeffers?
It may be stuff for kids but it can't have been easy producing it.
The Day the Crayons Quit is about a clutch of disenchanted crayons who write letters of complaint to their owner. What is that but a dramatisation of the self-doubt we all feel when we put pen to paper?
|The Day the Crayons Quit|
And what about Book Eating Boy? It doesn't make any sense. It's not reality, it's something else.
|Book Eating Boy|
Jeffers is dramatising pain, anguish, the human condition.
Wait a minute, this is for kids. How come it is allowed?
Someone smart has realised the kids don't want to make sense, not in the way that adults do.
Someone smart has realised that kids see the world in a different way. With a different reality. Is it any less valid?
Of course not. A certain computer company once had a slogan: Think Differently. Notwithstanding the fact that now they think like any other monopolistic corporation, they didn't really think that differently in the first place.
But kids do, and so do crazy people. They have something in common.
They live in the cracks between all the things we adults take for granted.
Living in the cracks can be fun.
But other grown-ups won't understand. They will want you to grow up and be like them. They will want you to talk like them and behave like them.
Not like the child who came round today and wouldn't stop screaming for half an hour no matter what you did. She was mad as hell and she wasn't going to take it any more.
Perhaps if we did that more often reality might be different.
It might even be more bearable. Things might get changed.
Or we might get put away.
Or we might be really successful, like Oliver Jeffers.
[David Thorpe is a writer of Marvel's Captain Britain, and of the sci-fi YA novels Hybrids, Doc Chaos: The Chernobyl Effect and the cli-fi fantasy Stormteller.]