Sunday, October 31

How a Mere Crease Can All But Ruin My Day

Fucking Halloween.

I have just been rudely jolted from my dreams (a late afternoon siesta; an essential forty winks) by what I can only assume were some chav trash Trick or Treaters - some rats off the local sink estate.

And sometimes, when you're caught unawares . . . Cue a flux of panic in case it were a proper unsolicited and unwanted visitor (it wouldn't be the first Sunday that a distraught friend has arrived on the doorstep, declaiming that they are "through with love" - straight out of the movies, of course, and pure yarbles), as opposed to some filth I could simply ignore; and in the Chaplinesque process of half-dressing and attempting to clear the bed of material that had aided and abetted a jolly good run at the Wank Wall (yes, a touch of Larkinesque) I creased the front cover of my paperback Collected Stories of Vladimir Nabokov.

(I should quickly explain here that books give way only to female flesh on my lopsided double bed.)

So? I hear you ask.

Ah, you don't understand, do you?

Now, at times I can look a shambles, and feel an absolute wreck - "Oh if this is how I look, imagine how I feel . . . " - but I am FASTIDIOUSNESS personified when it comes to my books. They are, almost without exception, my treasures; those I read with a rhythm of snorts and grunts and bodily scratches don't get to hang around: passing on such filth to charity is my idea of a good turn. (Actually, I do give blood, but that is my sole offfering to society!)

My books are my treasures, and a mere crease in one can all but ruin my day. Consequentially, when I lend a book I rate to a friend, I know I am in effect waving goodbye to that copy for ever - for when I get it back it's usually been tortured by said friend, walking tonka toy spawn, or dog. Really, the book may be sordid, but there was no need to give it a bath . . .

I suspect such behaviour is borderline some irrational psycho-something or other - and here I may as well confess that I can tick the boxes of the Big Three of childhood dementia: an attraction to fire (I burned down our house!); the need to torture helpless animals (a bashed-in tortoise shell may still be holding rain for months on end somewhere on a hillside in South Wales); and bed-wetting (no memories - I just assume I did this too, for I was a nervous child).

Having told you all that, I may as well tell you this: when I was nothing but a bawling bundle of limbs in my second-hand cot, the ceiling gave way above, missing me by just a few feet. A few feet, but that was enough: it's my first memory - quelle damage!; and since my first conscious recollection of the incident I've been waving two fingers at the supposed gods of fate. You. Yes you. You had your chance . . .

Back to now. All this reminds me: I have still to prattle down my thoughts on a supposedly great contemporary novelist whose latest tome I snorted, grunted and scratched my way through last weekend. And, hilariously, she is on the list attached to Nabokov in the gnod: the Global Network of Dreams (see link).

I feel fairly certain that the great man himself would snort, grunt and scratch away at the authors whose works are seen here as fellow travellers to his corpus; only Tolstoy and Joyce would remain. Some of those listed have come along since Nabokov's death, but, judging by his dismissal of the supposed greats of his time, you can assume that, using the Critic as Bouncer theory espoused in Martin Amis' novel The Information, only geniuses would be allowed in Nabokov's speakeasy.

Unsurprisingly, inside the gnod link there are some retarded views on Lolita, a novel which in my not-so-humble cruises into the Olympic final of the greatest novels of the twentieth century - though in Lane 4, it must be said, there's Ulysees.

So: fucking Halloween (America's shittiest invention - period). And, for the record, I can't stand Bonfire Night either; here in London, practically every night in November is punctuated by the fizz and pop of fireworks, as the street urchins (those runts, those rats again!) pick up half-price catherine wheels and sibling horrorshows from the local convenience stores - no questions asked.

For once, and just this once, I feel for the wailing dogs. How I hate this time of year.

Fucking Halloween.


posted by DD @ 19:01 


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