… with any luck, they live on into an easeful retirement … Look at Charlie Resnick, for instance, in the final scene of my dramatisation of Darkness, Darkness, which was produced at Nottingham Playhouse last October … The scene is the chapel garden following the funeral of a young woman who went missing during the Miners’ Strike: after a conversation with another officer who is leaving the force and moving away, Resnick moves downstage and addresses the audience.
RESNICK : Difficult things, endings. Goodbyes. Trying to find the right thing to say, the right thing to do.
Barry Hardwick earlier, in the chapel, stumbling over his last few words, tears blinding his eyes. Any anger, resentment there’d been between himself and Jenny, set aside. Maybe some day them as stood either side of the picket line’ll feel the same … and maybe not. Some things too big, happen, to ever forget.
For me now, it’s going to be a matter of going on from day to day. Taking small pleasures while I can. A decent cup of coffee. Saturdays at Meadow Lane. A glass of Scotch. Charlie Parker. Lester Young. (BEAT) There’s this CD I saw in the window of Music Inn. Thelonious Monk in Amsterdam. I might stroll up there later and take a listen.
THE SOUND OF JAZZ PIANO, SLIGHTLY DISCORDANT, RISES UP …
What was it Lynn said? That bloke who plays piano as if he had no arms? Anyone who can play like that without hands – got to be worth a listen, eh?
… AS RESNICK WALKS OFF STAGE AND THE LIGHTS SLOWLY FADE.
Didn’t think about killing him off, then? someone asked, after reading the novel on which the play was based. Well, yes. But never for more than the odd moment; didn’t have the heart.
And, of course, for Charlie there’s another life, still happily continuing. A life on the internet: e-books. A life in translation. Darkness, Darkness itself was published in French by Rivages as Ténèbres, Ténèbres in 2015 …
…and in German as Unter Tage, in a fine edition from Ars Vivendi in 2016.
And now Donmay Publishing of Taiwan are to publish all 12 Resnick novels in Chinese, beginning with Lonely Hearts, which first saw the light of day in 1989, and finishing with Cold in Hand and Darkness, Darkness in 2022. I hope I’m around to see them.
The cover design for the first in the series arrived today for my approval and what could I say, other than I think it is beautiful. Original and beautiful.
3 thoughts on “Old Coppers Never Die …”
Monk’s “Brilliant Corners” was recently aired on the R4 quiz show “Counterpoint” with a question along the lines of “Which American jazz musician is this?” The clearly non jazz listening contestants guessed by naming random saxophonists – Coltrane, Parker and finally Sonny Rollins…..the great Gambo scoffed and told them they were all wrong – but in a kind of way one of them was actually right !
Sad to see “Darkness, Darkness” isn’t touring (especially when you see what does) and loved your Twitter “Henry James” reaction to the news.
… and on the covers of British novels. Why are the designs so poor? The countless covers with that single man in silhouette against a stockshot by Getty. The appallingly bad Rankin covers (all of them from year dot). At least Donna Leon has Venice (with silhouetted man).
I know what you mean, Brian, though I think, on the whole, Random House have done well by me; the Darkness, Darkness cover was ace, I thought. I’ll be interested to see the design suggestions for the forthcoming (April, 2018) Elder novel, Body & Soul, when they arrive.