November 8, 2013
Writer, blogger and podcaster Doug Lain discusses his novel Billy Moon and some of the associated ideas and concepts. Topics discussed include fiction vs non-fiction, science fiction, culture, control, the meaning of meaning, surrealism, philosophy, paradox, dreams, and the nature of reality.
Billy Moon was Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A. A. Milne, the world-famous author of Winnie the Pooh and other beloved children’s classics. Billy’s life was no fairy-tale, though. Being the son of a famous author meant being ignored and even mistreated by famous parents; he had to make his own way in the world, define himself, and reconcile his self-image with the image of him known to millions of children. A veteran of World War II, a husband and father, he is jolted out of midlife ennui when a French college student revolutionary asks him to come to the chaos of Paris in revolt. Against a backdrop of the apocalyptic student protests and general strike that forced France to a standstill that spring, Milne’s new French friend is a wild card, able to experience alternate realities of the past and present. Through him, Milne’s life is illuminated and transformed, as are the world-altering events of that year. In a time when the Occupy movement eerily mirrors the political turbulence of 1968, this magic realist novel is an especially relevant and important book.