( the facebook page - @MarkHaddonAuthor
is run by vintage books / doubleday
i don't have any input
and i don't see any of the comments...
predictably it has far more visitors )

  polar bears 5

(god, it's a long time since i've been here...)

a strange thing (not unlinked to 'tiler serendipity below): it wasn't until after i'd written polar bears (a play for the donmar warehouse a few years back) that i had pointed out to me the blindingly obvious link between the title and bipolar disorder from which kay, the main character, suffers. i assumed it had been my lazy unconscious at work, i was rather embarrassed at the obviousness and rather wanted to wind the clock back and choose another anmial and another title (a polar bears also appears in anthony neilsen's play about bipolar disorder, the wonderful world of dissocia, which i hadn't seen at the time).

the other day, however, i was re-listening to nowhere by ride, an album i've been listening to on-and-off for a long time (i owned a cassette of it - that long), and the lyrics of the song polar bear jumped out at me.

She knew she was able to fly / Because when she came down / She had dust on her hands from the sky. / She said, 'I touched the ground'. / She felt so high the dust made her cry.

this, i realised, was what i must have been thinking off when i was writing the play (kay does think she can fly when manic). and i knew that song had affected me because i'd done an etching and called it 'polar bear' (see below - rubbish scan thereof).

i'd forgotten all of this.

footnote: a brief google reveals that the lyrics are an adaptation of a paragraph from j d salinger's franny and zooey. the chain goes on...