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Anniversari che vale la pena celebrare

Eravamo in aula di informatica con i danesi – cioè con alcuni studenti danesi e il loro prof di matematica, che abbiamo ospitato oggi. Dice che vengono per vedere come si fa scuola qui da noi, anche se ho sentito parlare così bene delle scuole danesi che magari saremmo noi a dover andare da loro a vedere come si fa. Ho intravisto il doodle, ma non era il caso di mettersi lì a controllare, ho dovuto aspettare di tornare a casa e poi studiarmi per bene tutto quanto:  l’asciugamano, la tazza di tè, Marvin dietro la porta, la Guida col pesce e i topi e tutto il resto.


Poi, vabbe’, non sono una fan sfegatata della Guida, ma quando ero ggiovane avevo ricevuto in dono le registrazioni della serie radiofonica originale e quindi posso citare dalla prefazione dei radio scripts originali:

Where do you get all your ideas from?

The story goes that I first had the idea for The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while lying drunk in a field in Innsbruck (or ‘Spain’ as the BBC TV publicity department authoratitively has it, probably because it’s easier to spell).

Apparently I was hitch-hiking around Europe at the time, and had a copy of  The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Europe (by Ken Walsh, also published by Pan Books) with me at the time. I didn’t have Europe On (as it was then) Five Dollars A Day because I simply wasn’t in that kind of financial league.

My condition was brought on not so much by having had too much drink, so much as having had a bit to drink and nothing to eat for two days. So as I lay there in this field, the stars span lazily around my head, and just before I nodded off, it occurred to me that someone ought to write a Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as well.

Now, this may well be true.

It sounds plausible. It certainly has a familiar kind of ring to it. Unfortunately, I’ve only got my own word for it now, because the constant need to repeat the story (Tell me Douglas, how did it all start. . .?’) has now completely obliterated my memory of the actual event. All I can remember now is the sequence of words which makes up the story – (‘Well, it’s very interesting you should ask that, Brian. I was lying in this field . . .’), and if I ever forget that, then the whole thing will have vanished from my mind forever.

If I then come across a BBC press release which says that I thought of the idea in Spain, I’ll probably think it must be true. After all, they are the BBC aren’t they?

However, I wouldn’t like to create the impression that all a writer has to do is sit in a field cramming himself with a couple of Stella Artoises whereupon a passing idea will instantly pounce on him, and then it’s all over bar the typing.

An idea is only an idea.

Douglas Adams,  London, July 1985

Poi è venuto tutto il resto.

  1. gennaio 7, 2014 alle 6:50 pm

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