I’m not sure whether there are more strange things happening down here in Cornwall than in the rest of the country, or whether I’m just noticing more of them since moving down here a few months ago. Either way, my local on-line rag, the Falmouth Packet, while rarely covering events of earth-shattering significance, is often an amusing source of the bizarre. This morning for instance, the following headline caught my eye: Falmouth man who drove into River Fowey has ‘no idea’ why From reading the story, at least part of the reason seems likely to have involved alcohol, a theory strengthened by his subsequent refusal to furnish a blood sample upon being admitted to hospital. However, this once again got me thinking about the whole knotty problem of Free Will and why it probably doesn’t exist – at least not in the sense that most of us feel it does.
The origin of artistic inspiration has been a subject of fascination since the ancient Greeks, who wrote of nine goddesses or muses without whose benevolent gifts of insight, aspiring writers and other artists would presumably have been left creatively bereft. Before I started writing my first novel, I’d heard authors talk of how their books sometimes seemed to write themselves, but I never really believed it. Instead I assumed it was just a false show of modesty following the laboured completion of what must actually have been a far more complex and arduous process of creation. This made the experience, when it first occurred to me, all the more remarkable.