On missing Alan Coren

The starting point for many an Alan Coren feuilleton was some scrap of a story from a newspaper. Which then triggered the soaring flight of fancy. The discovery that perhaps the Pentateuch really was written by the one person led to a quite wondrous story of how Moses and Aaron had to get it together overnight for example.

At which point:

MIT scientists hope to talk to spiders after creating music from their webs

We can imagine varied basic jokes here. Can’t they tune the damn thing? Or never did like modern jazz perhaps. Or an extended play upon Chinese whispers. The difficulty, the thing missed by the absence of Coren, is the 1200 words playing upon that joke, each line of which adds to it.

As is so often true in the wider world, ideas are easy, it’s execution that matters.

11 thoughts on “On missing Alan Coren”

  1. “ideas are easy, it’s execution that matters”

    There’s recently been a hashtag on Twitter #WeirdShitAuthorsHear and apparently many authors get people coming up to them offering to share an idea for a book in return for 50% of the profits, said people getting very huffy when told to take the sex and travel option.

  2. really? one person? perhaps an editor? I’ve only just been delving into historical criticism what with the Es,the Js and the Ps.- Did so after a rabbit hole dive, prompted by seeing a reference to Moses breaking the tablets then having a few thousand people killed as a way of making things right with him upstairs for the whole golden calf debacle. Then going up and fetching new ones. This time though (it was alleged) with different commandments. So i check – yeah sort of…it says they’re the same but then when it comes later to listing them (not numbered as Ed Miliband would have us believe) – they are indeed different (e.g. suddenly you’re not allowed to poach calves in their mother’s milk) . Anyway before extricating myself from the warren – i do come away with learning the theory that the difference is explained by the stitching together of different narratives from different sources. And there i was until this new Coren revelation.

  3. There is that bit where God says “Let us make man in our own image” who was he talking to and who was “we” and “us”, I thought that there was only one of him. That bit was written by the Elowist writer who believed in a pantheon of both male and female gods, El, the boss god was addressing the rest of them. He then went on to create men and women at the same time, no messing around with spare ribs.

  4. There’s a theory I’ve seen that argues that the Pentateuch was written in the 3rd century BC, in Greek and Hebrew versions, in the Library of Alexandria.

    It’s a bit more plausible than the daft idea that Moses existed.

  5. prompted by seeing a reference to Moses breaking the tablets

    “History of the World, part 1”?

  6. My favourite Coren essay was where he imagines a world where we have much more leisure time and he describes a morning spent filling in the Os and Ps in the Daily Telegraph and then spends an hour agonising whether to move onto the Bs and Ds.

    I rather imagine Moses sitting on Mt Sinai, chipping bits out of the tablets, while waiting for God to finish telling him what to put into Genesis.

  7. ha, nope haven’t seen it fully, blazing saddles yes! I can’t remember what it was, prolly a Utubvideo.

  8. My favourite Coren joke was about the French Navy who commissioned a company to come up with a new motto for them – “Something with a bit of action in it…” was their brief.

    After a lot of money was spent the company came back with: ‘To the Water! It is the Hour!’. But you have to say it in French to get the full effect….

  9. Dodgy Geezer- Ha- good. Reminds me one our class wag told to the bemusement of our french conversation teacher. quel est longue, dure et plein de marin? –
    un sous-marin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *