‘Summer in the Boat Grave’ by Ally McIntosh Paterson

Due to rampant dissolution, Hamish fails his first year exams in archaeology at Glasgow University but, in exaction for holding in reserve an ill-judged confidence by his Professor, Andrea, is still allowed to join the undergraduate group at the Danish island of Kikse for the excavation of a Viking grave. At a campfire drinking session, Hamish betrays the secret, destroying his nascent relationship with the beautiful Jens Peter and, incidentally, liberating Andrea into a new life. What is original and enjoyable about this work is that Hamish is very much the worse for having told his story. The passage of time through his mouth has nauseated him, the fixing of inchoate memory into inherited categories of sense, has bound him in long, choking strings of words, immured him in everything and nothing. The end of a good story does permanent violence to silence, and to so much else. So, you—you know who you are—keep your yap shut and there’ll be no trouble.