Search the Site
Books
  • CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    by Julian Gough

    The UK Kindle Single #1 hit.

    Jude lives in a henhouse with no roof, that he bought for ten million euro, at the height of the Irish property bubble. One day, his mortgage is rated the debt in Europe most likely to default... The political and financial elite of Europe arrive, with a plan: help Jude put a roof on his henhouse, stabilize his debt, and reassure the markets. It all goes horribly wrong.

    "This novella is very funny – laugh-out-loud at times…Gough is one of our most talented satirists" — The Irish Independent

  • Jude in London
    Jude in London
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for both the Guardian's Not The Booker Prize, and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, Jude in London is an epic, comic exploration of the bizarre love triangle between language, consciousness, and reality. Which is all very well, if you're into that sort of thing.

  • Jude: Level 1
    Jude: Level 1
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction.

    The novel's prologue won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story - the BBC National Short Story Prize.

    "Sheer comic brilliance" - The Times

    "The best comic novel I've ever read" - Tommy Tiernan

    "Could be the finest comic novel since Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman" - The Sunday Tribune

  • Juno and Juliet
    Juno and Juliet
    by Julian Gough

    My first novel, of which I am very fond. The adventures of teenage twin sisters Juno & Juliet, in their first year away from home. Life, love and literature, in Galway and Tipperary.

     

    "Like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood" - The Washington Post

    "A modern, at times brilliantly ironic reworking of the classical fairytale, with nods to Shakespeare, Austen and Beckett." - Literary Review

    "Hugely entertaining" - Vogue

Subscribe
Mail Me
Powered by Squarespace
Login
« On The Run In Croatia | Main | Blau Blau Blau »
Tuesday
May272008

Stealing Will Self's Pig

It is not often an author is driven by circumstances to steal another author's pig, but recent scandalous events forced my hand.

 Some of you will recall my glee when I was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize a few weeks ago, alongside such old and new stars as Alan Bennett, Will Self, Garrison Keillor and Joe Dunthorne.

A noble prize, previously won by books such as Vernon God Little, and A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian, the winner is showered in champagne and given a pig at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival in Wales, just over the border from England. (You don't get to keep the pig, but they name it after your book, and take your photo with it, to the great amusement of future generations).

You can imagine then my dismay when I discovered, shortly afterwards, buried in the small print of the Hay-on-Wye festival programme, the odd phrase "Will Self, winner of the 2008  Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize." Winner? WINNER?!?!?!

As the festival program had gone to print before the shortlist was announced, this meant that the prize committee had picked the winner before they had announced, or perhaps even picked, the shortlist. It was a stitch-up. But worse, I had been denied my rightful month of anticipation, tingling, hiccups and giddy excitement.

Also I'd put serious money on Alan Bennett to win. His The Uncommon Reader is a little masterpiece. Something had to be done.

I thought long and hard. The prize is named after that comic god, P. G. Wodehouse, inventor of Jeeves and Wooster. What, I thought would Wodehouse have done, faced with such provocation? Sat in his room and written another comic novel, probably. That's how he reacted to everything, including World War 2. As I was already sitting in a room writing a comic novel this wasn't much help. Action was called for, dash it. So I asked myself, what would P. G. Wodehouse's greatest creation Bertie Wooster do, nobly backed by the genius of his manservant Jeeves?

 

And the answer came to me as in a vision - as though the ghost of Wodehouse himself whispered in my ear - he would steal the pig.

 will self's pig.jpg

For if there is one constant in the work of P. G. Wodehouse, from Pigs Have Wings to Pig Hooey, it is that God put pigs on this good green earth to be kidnapped. Not a chapter goes by without somebody chloroforming Lord Emsworth's favourite sow, The Empress of Blandings.

 

And thus I made my way to the Welsh borders and, with the assistant of my trusty gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves (not his real name, but he would like to remain anonymous for some reason), I stole Will Self's pig.

I sent the organisers this, ah, pignapping video, containing my ransom demands. Tense negotiations continued up until the last minute. They, understandably, did not wish to give the prize to the man who had stolen their pig. I offered, as a very reasonable compromise, to deliver the pig to Alan Bennett's door in London if they would re-award the prize to him. They baulked - Will Self was in the program - his angry fans, denied, might rampage, torching tents, incinerating Gore Vidal in his invalid chair... The intervention of a bishop almost led to a compromise candidate (Joe Dunthorne), but we ran out of time.

This, of course, left them one pig short for the prize ceremony. And thus it was that, as you may have read in the Guardian and Bookseller over the weekend, Will Self was not awarded his pig. I was wondering how they would get over this, and so I attended the ceremony in disguise. The organisers, rather anticlimactically, pretended an outbreak of pig disease had kept the pig away, and they showed a video of a pig instead.

And so the situation rests.  The pig is in a safe place, and receiving the best of care.  For now.

It is to be hoped that the organisers of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize will give in to my very reasonable demands and re-award the Wodehouse Prize to Alan Bennett. Otherwise, I'm afraid they will get their pig back sausage by sausage.

Harsh, I know, but when you mess with the affections of six comic novelists, somebody's going to get hurt. 

References (76)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    If you really like football, you in all probability have a favourite group from the National Football League or two and have a list of players who like to have noticed.
  • Response
    Response: Rob Beckerley
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: web site
    Stealing Will Self's Pig - Blog - Julian Gough's website
  • Response
    Response: google
    I have a site, and my content is protected with a Creative Commons license, but I want to copyright it so places like eBaums World doesn't steal my content. How can I get my entire site copyrighted?.
  • Response
    What is a blogging site that allows you to sync with facebook for comments?
  • Response
    What was the URL format for Yahoo! 360 Blog posts back in the day?
  • Response
    I am running a small computer repair business in rural Ireland and would like to expand into doing low small, low cost, high quiltiy wordpress brochure websites for other small businesses.. . How can I find outsourcing partners abroad, that I can just simply email the content to, and have them ...
  • Response
    Response: whey protein
    I've been looking high and low, and it seems that most liberal arts schools are populated by heavy drinkers and partiers, which I am not interested in. If I can, I'd like to double major in creative writing and journalism.. Thank you!.
  • Response
    Response: Sandie Karnopp
    Hey I was wondering if anyone could tell me which universities are the best (anywhere) for creative writing? I'm not interested in any universities in ontario because they dont offer the type of courses I want. I was also wondering if maybe there are schools specifically for creative writing? Please help ...
  • Response
    Response: key phrase
    my blog is a link on my web home page and I would like it to show the posts from the blog? Any ideas?
  • Response
    Looking for a good website to post samples of creative writing for others to read, review and comment on. Any ideas?.
  • Response
    Response: buscadores
    What is it called to be a computer tech that works on business computers?
  • Response
    Response: rankings
    If I set up my own blogging web site. Is it okay to copy and paste pics on my site to suppour my blogging?
  • Response
    Response: rare coin prices
    I'm trying to use software to erase the information on my old computer before donating it. The mouse is not working on the computer. I've tried another mouse on the computer and it still will not work. I need to reboot my computer in order to start the disc wiper. Is ...
  • Response
    How to embed a music playlist in my wordpress blog?
  • Response
    Response: income tax
    I want to know if I should do a trademark or copyright for the following.... . This pseudonym is used too make music (band) photography, writing and website. . . I want to own the name and also protect the work under it, what is the best way of doing this? ...
  • Response
    Stealing Will Self's Pig - Blog - Julian Gough's website
  • Response
    Is there free software or online database to keep track of scheduled blog posts? I would also like it to keep a record of past and future posts. I am trying to avoid creating a spreadsheet in Excel..
  • Response
    I was watching the episode of Ugly Betty where she started a blog.. . I've always wanted to have a blog (that people would actually read!) and I have some great ideas for some but how do i actually start one on the internet?. . Help much appreciated..
  • Response
    I'm in high school and starting next year I will have to start looking at colleges. I know I want to find a college just for creative writing. I love writing stories of all sorts, and I know of a couple colleges that specialize in creative writing. But where would you ...
  • Response
    What is in the content of a copyright waiver ? I need to make one and need to know what it includes?
  • Response
    I need complete and detailed requirements, policies and procedures, anyone help me please? = ).
  • Response
    Joomla Software vs Dreamweaver Software which one is the best?
  • Response
    Response: pet vaccines
    I am going to be a junior in high school in a month when school starts and I want to start looking at schools. I am really interested in creative writing and literature. What are some good schools for that? I also want to study philosophy. . . Thanks!.
  • Response
    If I reword a news article I read online. Rewording it so it is totally different, is this copyright infringement? I want to send a few stories to local community papers. Thanks for your answers..
  • Response
    Response: helpful resources
    Can i protect my blog content copyright without registering it to copyright departmen? please help?
  • Response
    How do I configure my computer to be able to act as a server (host) for my second computer using crossover?
  • Response
    No matter what I do with my Joomla homepage, I can't take the giant Joomla banner off of the top of the screen and replace it with my own. Does anybody know how to do this?.
  • Response
    I'm looking for a nice digital camera under or around $200 for the purpose of blogging (as in wordpress, blogger, etc). I'm trying to get a blog which will be based around the daily photos I take despite the fact that I'm not really a photographer but only doing it for ...
  • Response
    Response: Plumbers
    I want to do a live webcast, but I can't figure out how to do it on the Blogger platform. Can anyone give me some direction?. . Thanks!.
  • Response
    Response: Window Replacement
    How do I save my Firefox bookmarks when getting a new computer?
  • Response
    Response: see here now
    What is the best way to copyright the content of an online blog?
  • Response
    Response: click here now
    I want to start a blog on myyearbook but i cant find the box on my profile.. I have made sure i have checked the box to show my latest blog in the manage profile boxes section.. But it still wont show up.. Please help.. Is there any other way to ...
  • Response
    I want to change my Blogger/Blogspot background into a picture I want instead of the ugly plain ones that provide you with.. . I tried looking up on google how to change it but it only came up with how to change the background with the old Blogger. . . HELP!. ...
  • Response
    Response: Plumber
    I have many setting in my previous windows in Mozila Firefox, now I've installed an onother version of windows on other hardisk.. What should I copy to have the same settings, history and bookmarks from the earlier one?. Nothing is lost I just have an onother windows in another hard and ...
  • Response
    Response: her explanation
    How can I find who publish links from my blog posts to facebook?
  • Response
    Response: see post
    What information technologies could we use to make it easier to keep track of when new blog posts were made and which blog posts we had read and which we haven't read? Please be precise.
  • Response
    Response: you can check here
    How to apply for google adsense account for my all 3 blogs and 2 websites ?
  • Response
    Response: real estate
    I need a good male pseudonym to use when blogging.. Sorry if this is the wrong place for the question :(. It sort of relates because I want to blog, but I don't want my acquaintances/friends to see it..
  • Response
    I follow all the installation instructions, after downloading, but Mozilla Firefox blocks the installation..
  • Response
    Response: auto insurance
    What is the best computer virus remover?. My computer is slow as hell and freezes on me. Most of the time, I have to restart my computer. I think I may have a virus on my computer. What is the best software to remove the viruses of my computer?.
  • Response
    Can I copyright 20 pages of old newspaper articles ?
  • Response
    I am trying to find a good blogging site where I can actually get viewers or readers to view my blog. I have tried blogspot and live journal with no real success. Does anyone know of any good sites where I can actually blog and get readers?. . Another thing is ...
  • Response
    Response: try this website
    Can a computer virus passively infect the computer by just being online?
  • Response
    How do I start a website with minimum or no advertsing for free?
  • Response
    Response: agree with
    What are some extensions known to slowdown firefox browser?. . Which one can make firefox the more slower?. . Can you tell me some of them?.
  • Response
    Response: more info
    I want to start a blog where I can talk to people and have them respond to my blogs. Not myspace or facebook. I tried blogger but the only blogs I could find were about global warming and guns. I want some where that I can open an account and say ...
  • Response
    Okay so I have two blogs, one with blogger and one with wordpress, both have the same content. However, no one is visiting my blogger site, while people are visiting the wordpress one. How can I increase traffic on the blogger site?.
  • Response
    Response: anchor
    I am not experienced with joomla but I want to use to make a website. My only trouble right now is getting it installed on Yahoo hosting I don't know what to do.. . Can anyone direct me to a site or forum for this or tell me how do it? ...
  • Response
    My school has both and they are the same thing. Everytime I go to a site it says either: You must have firefox, or You must have internet explorer. Also why is firefox downloadable? Wouldn't you already have a browser?. What are the add ons like? Internet explorer has tabbed browsing.. ...
  • Response
    Response: why not look here
    I have a great interest in computer and aircrafts, especially military aircrafts. I am planning to do computer engineering and be involved in the designing of military aircrafts (aircraft's computer).. I need to know whether the US Air Force needs computer engineers and if yes, will a computer engineer be wearing ...
  • Response
    Response: published here
    What are the skills that I need to run a website business, I want to display some useful info on my site to earn money. I am not talking about designing part, I know how to launch a website but don't know how to get advertisements from companies, marketing, managing, updating, ...
  • Response
    Response: his explanation
    I like Facebook, but I hate that their notes section isn't as appealing as MySpace's blogs. I've recently transferred a blog from MySpace to Facebook using the "share" icon located beneath each blog.. . However, I do not like the way it appears on my Facebook page. Are there any better ...
  • Response
    Response: home page
    How to transfer firefox bookmarks from one laptop to another laptop?
  • Response
    How do I start a website for free or cheap?
  • Response
    How can you use a custom blog design if you are using ftp publishing for your blogger blog?. . How do I install the design?.
  • Response
    Response: article source
    I am looking both for blogs that give unbiased, balanced commentary on all issues or blogs that have a liberal or left-wing slant. Thank you..
  • Response
    Response: his explanation
    Wow! That's an appealing slant.
  • Response
    The top quality seo web around
  • Response
    Response: seo marketing
    go here for greatest agencia seo anywhere
  • Response
    Should I start a blog or website for addiction/recovery related information?
  • Response
    Is getting a Masters Degree in Creative Writing a waste of time?
  • Response
    My bestfriend and I want to create a blogging site, but we dont know which one to use. We basically will just be uploading random stuff about anything but we want the site to be fun and decorative, not just a plain layout..
  • Response
    How do I make my previous Yahoo 360 blog posts visible to the public?
  • Response
    Response: good
    Now that is some magnificent literature.
  • Response
    I have been told to go and open a Wordpress blog account to make web mini sites (web presence) and I am wanting to know if you have better ideas or simply more ideas? Advise for Wordpress would be great as well!.
  • Response
    Response: click here now
    If you like reading a blog, what kind of interesting things that make you like that blog? Give me your favorite blog links too..
  • Response
    How can I best copyright protect stories and articles on my writing website? I know you can insert a copyright symbol, but can this COMPLETELY protect against somebody copying and pasting your stuff and claiming that it is theirs?.
  • Response
    Response: Discover More
    Stealing Will Self's Pig - Blog - Julian Gough's website
  • Response
    Response: click here now
    Does Joomla have a Component that help to create a forum like Yahoo Answers?
  • Response
    Response: pizza hut coupons
    I just need to know how to get a website started. I want to make a fan site for a new band. I know that I have to pay for a domain, but I'm confused about how to purchase & build a website. Help please? Thanks in advance! (:. Thanks everyone! ...
  • Response
    My website is on a remote server, I have copied all the files from their remote host server. How do I now configure MAMP to see this as a local copy of wordpress so I can edit it and try out different themes. . Please help. I am pulling my hair ...
  • Response
    Response: dog arthritis
    see here for greatest dog arthritis care around
  • Response
    Response: ira in gold
    How do I find someones blogger blogs with their email address?

Reader Comments (17)

This is truly a Wodehousian solution. I am sure the pig is quite happy, though perhaps longing for his sows?
May 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharlaine Harris
Glad you approve, Charlaine. The pig is well and happy, don't worry. One can learn a surprising amount about the care and maintenance of pigs from Wikipedia. And of course a lifetime of reading Wodehouse's stories of Blandings Castle gave me a firm grounding in basic pig husbandry.

My God, they can eat, though.
May 28, 2008 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
I hope he's supplied with plenty of shite to keep him happy.

Oh, there will be no shortage of shite round these parts, believe me, Noel.
May 29, 2008 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
My only reservation about this is the heavy-handed phrase 'pig kidnapping'. A pignap, surely?
May 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOliver
Julian, how does your wife put up with two bores, sorry, boars in one house?

What do you call a pig with three eyes?

A piiig
Oliver, you are quite right. "Pignap" is far more graceful.

Noel, I shall deal with your impertinence next time I'm in Tipp... which may be sooner than you think...
May 30, 2008 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
What fools these programme compilers be. Alan Bennett's also contributed to the pignapping genre with 'A Private Function', hasn't he...
June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDickon Edwards
Blimey, you've got quite a posh voice. Didn't expect that from the blog, somehow.
June 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSputter and Run
Do I? Egad. Actually, it was the Wodehouse Effect. There's something about pignapping in a frock coat and cravat that shuffles the diphthongs about. By the time the pig is in the trailer, one's speech is indistinguishable from that of any random member of the Drones Club. Pongo Twistleton, perhaps. Or Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps.

However, though I do know an alarming, almost sinister, number of Old Etonians these days, I remain an Old Boy of Nenagh Christian Brothers School in North Tipperary. My accent moves along a spectrum, at one end of which is Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright, and at the other a bachelor farmer from Ballylusky.

You should hear me at a Tipperary funeral. Arra, whisht!
June 9, 2008 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
Did you practice that elegant fence-leaping at around 2.10 beforehand, or is it a skill you've been nurturing over the years?

How and where is the pig now?
July 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam Jordison
Hullo Sam,

I have leapt elegantly over many's the fence in my youth. You can't grow up wearing a damask silk frockcoat in rural Tipperary and not get pretty good at leaping fences. Often the pursuing mob would break into involuntary applause at the elegance of my leaping.

The pig is well, and happy. I have many, many pig-breeding relatives in Tipperary. As a result, I, more so perhaps than any novelist now living in England (I can't speak for Ireland, Scotland or Wales), know how to keep a pig happy.

He wasn't truly happy with Will Self anyway. An arranged marriage. No, him and Will, that wasn't love, it was lust.

As to the pig's current whereabouts... Hmmm.... Can't really tell you, for obvious reasons. Nice try though.

They'll never take us alive.
July 3, 2008 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
Well, it's a very impressive - jealous-makingly impressive - skill.

Am pleased also to learn that the pig is in good hands, even if denying me knowledge of its whereabouts has cut me off from what might have been a nice little earner.

Watch your back just the same!
July 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam Jordison
Well done! The best way to getting you way with Lord Emsworth -- all you need to do is follow Ronnie Fish's advise.

I hope the Will-Pig (You got to give it a name) does not suffer and it gets its 57,000 calories a day.
December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRaja
And what, I ask you, is the correct response to a pignapping?
A retaliatory pignapping, of course!
May 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMinion of Self
Hey (or Hay), hands off my pig, Minion. I have grown to love it.
May 19, 2009 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
Vietnamese pig is in the picture?
May 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergerovital

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.