Monday, 20 October 2008

Simple but Effective (plus a meme)

Just came across this one: not much to say, other than the fact that for a book about the relationship between a novelist and a poet, in one of Bellow's well-drawn city settings, it's just about perfect. Don't know who the designer is, but they know their onions.


Meme time: I have been tagged by the cunning Lucy Fishwife of Life Happens Between Books, and must post Six Random Things About Me.

1. I have had as "pets" dogs, cats, magpies, bats, hairy-nosed wombats, bettongs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and sugar gliders. I also once had a koala die in my arms of kidney failure, which was very sad.

2. I was engaged to be married at the age of six. It did not work out.

3. I once drunkenly stumbled up to David Malouf at a publishing party (to which I had received an inbvitation as a lowly bookseller) to tell him how much I admired his work. I was quite pissed and inarticulate. He thought I was a bouncer come to evict him from the premises. At the same party, one of my co-workers scored a snog from Alistair MacLeod.

4. My father once inadvertently made noted Australian children's-TV fixture Humphrey B. Bear swear on live TV with the aid of a Tesla coil--the first and only time said bear has spoken in over 40 years of broadcasting. The bear danced too close to the coil and was struck by a bolt of electricity, and his slightly muffled cry was "Oh, FUCK!"

5. In my first week of primary school I suffered major concussion after running into someone at full-tilt and bouncing off them to fly head-first into a brick wall, knocking myself out. How brilliant might I have been if this had never happened? We will never know. It also has made me deeply suspicious of any book or film where the protagonist gets knocked out with a blow to the head, and yet remembers everything that happened to him/her up to that moment. Head trauma doesn't work like that!

6. I am currently typing with several tissues stuffed up my right nostril to stem a blood nose. Ah, the glamour of the writing life. I also just did a Google Image search for "bloody tissue" to decorate this entry, and really wish I hadn't--'tissue', of course, having another meaning in this context.


Lucy Fishwife said...

Fantastic! What is a sugar glider? I know I could Google it but I would rather hear it from you. Same goes, obviously, for a bettong. I have never snogged an author but did throw a glass of red wine over myself two seconds before John le Carre turned to speak to me, thus rendering my carefully-planned and intelligent questions the ramblings of an apparent lush...

Ricky Lee Grove said...

Certainly right about that Bellow cover. Marvelous.

I couldn't stop laughing at your six random things. And the fact that you were typing with a bloody nose makes it even more BusterKeatonish. Sure love your blog.

thank you.

JRSM said...

Ricky: thanks for that--I know the importance of suffering for my art.

Lucy: the red wine incident would have been very embarrassing, though at least you didn't accidentally spit it out on the great man himself. A bettong is like a very small, mildly silly kangaroo, while a sugar glider is a small, airborne possum with a real taste for sweet food--their standard dinner was usually white bread soaked in milk and sugar. Re-reading that description it sounds made up, but I assure you it's a real animal.

Kylie said...

Thanks for the laughs! As a big fan of Humphrey, I am most impressed that your father made him swear.

The Malouf story is also great. I haven't read any of his work yet - is there anything in particular you would recommend?

JRSM said...

Hey, Kylie: I'd go for 'Johnno' or 'Conversations at Curlow Creek' in the novels, or 'Every Breath You Take' for short stories.

Kylie said...

Thanks! I'll keep an eye out.