Friday, September 03, 2010
How the hell do you review your own book in somebody's else's blog space?
Recently invited by ChuckerCanuck, a blogger, to do my own review of my latest edition of my novel,The Fire in Bradford, I found myself in a kind of kaleidescope. How can you review what you yourself have produced, how did the work come about, and what in f*ck a are you talking about?
Except for the late Norman Mailer, no one has explored the mental calisthenics to do with such a project. Being your own character in a book. Then reviewing your own book.
Where the hell to begin?
You could start with, "I know the author well. He is a friggin' genius." Fatuous, but perhaps revealing the compexity of the project, which to me is like viewing the old picture of Elsie the Cow on a milk can, holding up a milkcan on which is Elsie the Cow, on which there is a pictue of Elsie the Cow, ad infinitum...or ad absurdum?
Migod, is this the way you think? Is this you?
You're a f*cking idiot!
I mean, this is how the book came about, not quite an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of keyboards-producing a masterpiece, but this is the way you write. Pick, pluck and pray... Not like the New York Times, printing all the news that fits, but rather all the mini-epiphanies that fit into the yet uncreated jigsaw puzzle of your book. The book is sort of blocked out; you do not build the armature consciously, but it's there. You know it's there. Otherewise there would be no rhyme or reason to what you're doing. It would be a tale told by an idiot, and you probably became a writer just to daily show the world you are not friggin' idiot.
Well, maybe idiot-savant.
So I begin the project lighting more than one candle to show the way.
Actually, it's a little spooky. Going into the cellar of your own uncounscious, where there might be a familiar figure or two a tiger, a bat, perhaps a dong..
Heaven forbid I might have become like Margaret Atwood described John Updike, "A penis with a thesaurus, but lately my penis has been drooping and in any event, I think I lost the f*cking book.
Enough that my The Fire in Bradford is a little like the antique movie,The Professor and the Blue Angel.
Wimpy, stunned, Dr. Rath, pole-axed by a music hall Marlene Dietrich, who of late is screwing anybody but him, until he goes mad and crows like a rooster, right up on stage where his rivals had placed him, just to have a little fun with the dizzy old bastard.
And a reference, perhaps to another, similar work.
The Old Man and the She?
About the most intelligent thing I can say aboutg my own poor novel, is that a man's force, once deflected, goes off on another route. It is not deminished.
...And he might just come a round through the back and goose ya.
The uh, killer instinct comes in many forms.
Watch it Chucker. Gonna come and getcha. :)