Monday, October 09, 2006

Nine uses for nine dead cats

Recently, by way of e.a. monroe (by way of Miss Write, Jay Wells, a grudging Bernita et al) I was tagged to:

a) List one book that changed my life;
b) One book that I'd read more than once;
c) One book I'd want on a desert island
d) One book that made me laugh;
e) One book "that made you cry";
f) One book that you wish you had written;
g) One book that you wish had never been written;
h) One book you're currently reading
i) One book you'd been meaning to read
j) Tag five people!......Ah well, a whole bunch of us have been tagged already in four or five blogs, so I'll let you off he hook. Thank God for small mercies?

Let's see now.

One book that changed my life: The Story of Philosophy, by Will Durant. The reading of this book seems to give you a BA before even starting undergraduate work...That's if you were to enter college in l925.....but that's when the major scientific advances came in, so you'd still be in the running. Will Durant is the one person who made me understand the obscure Kant (I mentioned this to Betty Conners on the set of There's a Girl in My Soup, the play, and she said, "Don't swear, Ivan."

One book that you'd read more than once: Generation of Vipers, a scathing condemnation of American society (by an American) written, unfortunately, right at the time of Pearl Harbour, so Mr. Wylie sold only 4,000 copies--but it was enough.
Sixty-five years later, we do begin to see the same warts. Including a Pearl Harbour.

One book I'd want on a desert island: That self-same Story of Philosophy, by Will Durant (And BTW, lots of editorial help from his wife, Ariel Durant.--Maybe that's why it was so good!).

One book that made me laugh: White Trash Etiquette, by Dr. Vernon Edstom, esq.
This had me pissing my eyes out with laughter. There's a line in there, I think, that goes: "You know you're white trash when your wife puts her toes through the knee end of her pantyhose."

One book that made my cry: The Gulag Archipelago, by Alexander Solzhenitzin. (Even though I live in York Region, Canada, which is pretty well all subdivivion gulag; 'Pave paradise, put up a parking lot.").

One book that I wish I had written: Actually two: Barney's Version, by Mordecai Richler (Canadian) and Roger;s Version, by John Updike. Roger's version is about a computer geek who tries to find God through a massive search engine. The subplot has a White Trash girl in it as well, with whom a slightly evil professor has an incestuous relationship.....Egad!--Me and some of my former students? At least I waited till they graduated--I ain't no white trash!

One book I wish had never been written: Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood.

One book I'm currently reading: My own dystopia, The Hat People, which, I admit has even less imagination than Oryx and Crake.....I am probably just jealous.

One book that I'd been meaning to read: The Life of Pi....But I hear the author of the original book (Weiss?) says he doesn't mind anybody ripping off his material as long as readers are privy to the ideas.

Tagging five people? I think just about everybody in genre blogland has been tagged with this turkey.

I say turkey because this is Canadian Thanksgiving day and my turkey seems to have enough preservatives in it to make a brew for Macbeth's witches.

But the gravy, which was made separate, makes for one hell of a good dip.

And the rye whiskey is even better.

Canadian Club, I say.

Here's to ya.

Allez votre...


EA Monroe said...

Surely this one book business has bit the dust, Ivan! I'll add your books to my books-to-read list and hope you forgive me!

Since I switched to Mozilla Firefox for posting to the blog, Blogger has stopped eating my images and doesn't give me a lot of grief. And the pictures show up!

Happy Canadian Turkey Day! I hope you don't get too "basted" on rum and rye whiskey. Or maybe you should!

ivan said...

No problem ea.
I started celebrating early this morning ("It's gotta be noon somewhere!") and after the loginess of the turkey, I needed something to do to get my brain back in operation...You know, that feeling you get when you're half-drunk and stuffed. Pieter Brueghel the Elder
(whom I'm convinced you know about, since you're a graphic artist), portrays this feeling brilliantly in a tableu titled "Cocayene", not the snorting kind, just a full, logey feeling.
So flattered that you are interested in my books (They are all up on line and one of them, "Light Over Newmarket" had been reprinted and lightly reviewed by my pal, Aaron Braaten over at a site called "Grandinite", out of Alberta, Canada. Aaron has since gone to Pennsylvania, where he has found work. Oh that Green Card! LOL.
From your writin' in your blogs, I'll bet you're working on a snapper of a novel and I wouldn't mind having a peek as well.
Ah, this bilingual country, Canada.
I think the cat sank, and so did the turkey--Oh what the hell! Turkey casserole works too.

Happy Columbus Day, y'all.


Sela Carsen said...

I cried reading The Gulag Archipelago, too. Because I was so damn borified!! (Borified = Bored + Horrified) I claim it as a Desert Island Book because I can rip out all the pages to feed my fire. LOL!

ivan said...

Yeah, old Alec does go on and on--and he doesn't spare the suffering.
He does say that authors who had been dying all around him could have done a better job.
I did meet one author who survived the Gulags too and wrote about it in a more compelling and masterly manner, one Nicholas Prychodko, but nobody would publish his Gulag book. "One of Thirty Million" was finally consigned to Vantage books, a vanity house of the Sixties.
Seems everywhere you go, somebody else has done the book better, but that somebody just didn't have the connections.
Crikey! I got all kinds of connections, but I still get rejected left and right.
Only in my home town, Newmarket, Ontario, do I get any respect.
Maybe it's because I ran for mayor, know all the angles, and can have them offed. LOL.

EA Monroe said...

Pieter Brueghel the Elder is one of my favorites, probably because his paintings are so full of life captured in the moment. I can imagine a host of different story vignettes -- also reminds me of what I'm trying to do with that never-ending saga of mine, especially his paintints, The Harvesters and Hunters in the Snow.

EA Monroe said...

paintings! ;-) I've had too much gin!

Josie said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Ivan. I too have overdosed on tryptophan and vodka.

I was tagged with this meme once, and I had a hard time thinking of my "favorites", there were so many.



ivan said...

Welcome "home" Josie.
Sounds like the weekend went well.
I know I'm going to read about it in your blog.
Tryptophan and vodka. Whoooee!
Two different synergies.
I got to be the way I am by trying something like that thirty years ago.
Ah well. I am about 99 years old and still walk 20 miles every day.
Maybe I have to.
Is something gaining on me?
Certainly with the economic condition, there's no time to be depressed or to look back at what's gaining on you.
Hard work seems the magic cure.
And I know you work like the dickens.

Jaye Wells said...

Ivan, i'm glad you caved and did the meme. Some great answers here and I've added some books to my tbr list.

EA, I love Breughel, too. There is something so arresting about his paintings even though the subject matter seems so mundane.

ivan said...

Nice to be young, isn't it?
Everything kind of jumps out at you, especially trees, flowers, landscapes.
I lost some of the sense of smell,
but most times, I feel about eighteen.
Peter Pan, I suppose.
And there had been so many Wendys!

ivan said...

Yeah Jaye,
I'd forgotten you had the fine arts degree. Had to do my own research for my original novel, The Black Icon.
Couldn't get over Pieter Breghuel The Elder and that other cookie monster Hieronymous Bosch.
But what really turned my crank was
The Temptations of St. Anthony by Salvadore Dali, holding up a cross to that Hugh Hefner temptation in the sky, trying to control the shaking of his hairy legs.
Sure wish I'd had the fortitude of St. Anthony in my Mexico travels!
You lose more money and houses that way!
But then I know that one reward for a successful writer is the Playboy Mansion.
I guess I got my "rewards" before I'd hardly put pen to paper.
Got it all backwards.
Oh well, I did finish the book. Kinda.