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. :)

20 comments:

the walking man said...

Here I'll write it for you.

It's a great fucking book. It took Ivan forty years to write it. Buy the bitch or suffer the consequences of not only not being able to talk about it at the water cooler but also or Rosco and Rocco who will be going door to door to check that you have at least one copy in your house.

Charles Gramlich said...

The first few times I had to talk about my own work I found it horribly difficult. now I just rattle the shit off.

ivan@creativeriting.ca said...

Hi Charles,

Yes, it seems hard at first, without sort of deprecating yourself, and then the class thinks it's a statement of fact!

BTW, I never did get your email about asking for a copy of The Fire in Bradford. If you give me your address either by email or here, I'd be glad to send.
My email is ivan@creativewriting.ca

Heh. Maybe I should self-deprecate a bit to raise interest... or ire? :)

benjibopper said...

Reminds me of Charlie Kaufman's 'Being John Malkovich.' You gotta go tongue-in-cheek, I think. "I know the author as well as anyone can, but not as well as his exes think they do. Regardless, he's a genius, and a moron. An idiot-savant. He stole the idea for this book from me, and screwed it up royally. Luckily the idea is so strong he couldn't totally kill it."

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

A couple of important dates to announce. The Halifax launch of my novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be September 22 at The Company House on Gottingen St. We'll likely kick things off around 7 pm, but I'll confirm that later. It looks like I've lined up a popular Halifax singer/songwriter, Kev Corbett, to play. I'm also hoping to have some spoken word. Here's hoping we get half of Nova Scotia in there!

Second, the Toronto launch is tentatively booked for October 4, so if you're in Toronto please mark that on your calendar. It will most likely be at the Lula Lounge on Dundas West. I'm still working on the music (if anyone has any ins with hot Toronto bands please let me know) but I'll keep you posted. I'd settle for having a third of Toronto at this event ;-)

Also, thanks to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia I'll be doing a book tour starting right after the Toronto launch. I'll be hitting Peterborough, Port Hope, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, and Charlottetown. If you know any good bookstores or other reading venues (libraries etc.) between Toronto and Halifax, please let me know about them. And if you live in any of those towns and are willing to put up a wayward writer for a night or two, you're my new best friend!

Lastly, I have a new video up on the book. I'll be doing a series of these "behind the scenes" snippets. This one is on the many themes of the novel (ecology, international development, helping professions, indigenous cultures, Western culture, individualism, collectivism, community, Canadiana, Indonesia, and immigration). You can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisBenjaminWriting#p/a/u/0/PAVPSisz0b0.

Thanks so much, and I hope to see you all at a launch or reading soon.

Chris
--
Chris Benjamin is the Sustainable City Columnist for The Coast (www.thecoast.ca). In 2006/2007 he worked as a journalist in Ghana. His first novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be published by Roseway in Fall 2010. His first book of nonfiction, Green Souls, will be published by Nimbus in Fall 2011. He shared an honourable mention in the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Chris has written fiction and features for The Toronto Star, VoicePrint Canada, This Magazine, Now Magazine, Descant, Third Person Press, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, The Society, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, Coastlands, Progress Magazine, and many others.

http://www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com
http://twitter.com/benjaminwrites
http://www.youtube.com/chrisbenjaminwriting

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

A couple of important dates to announce. The Halifax launch of my novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be September 22 at The Company House on Gottingen St. We'll likely kick things off around 7 pm, but I'll confirm that later. It looks like I've lined up a popular Halifax singer/songwriter, Kev Corbett, to play. I'm also hoping to have some spoken word. Here's hoping we get half of Nova Scotia in there!

Second, the Toronto launch is tentatively booked for October 4, so if you're in Toronto please mark that on your calendar. It will most likely be at the Lula Lounge on Dundas West. I'm still working on the music (if anyone has any ins with hot Toronto bands please let me know) but I'll keep you posted. I'd settle for having a third of Toronto at this event ;-)

Also, thanks to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia I'll be doing a book tour starting right after the Toronto launch. I'll be hitting Peterborough, Port Hope, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, and Charlottetown. If you know any good bookstores or other reading venues (libraries etc.) between Toronto and Halifax, please let me know about them. And if you live in any of those towns and are willing to put up a wayward writer for a night or two, you're my new best friend!

Lastly, I have a new video up on the book. I'll be doing a series of these "behind the scenes" snippets. This one is on the many themes of the novel (ecology, international development, helping professions, indigenous cultures, Western culture, individualism, collectivism, community, Canadiana, Indonesia, and immigration). You can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisBenjaminWriting#p/a/u/0/PAVPSisz0b0.

Thanks so much, and I hope to see you all at a launch or reading soon.

Chris
--
Chris Benjamin is the Sustainable City Columnist for The Coast (www.thecoast.ca). In 2006/2007 he worked as a journalist in Ghana. His first novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be published by Roseway in Fall 2010. His first book of nonfiction, Green Souls, will be published by Nimbus in Fall 2011. He shared an honourable mention in the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Chris has written fiction and features for The Toronto Star, VoicePrint Canada, This Magazine, Now Magazine, Descant, Third Person Press, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, The Society, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, Coastlands, Progress Magazine, and many others.

http://www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com
http://twitter.com/benjaminwrites
http://www.youtube.com/chrisbenjaminwriting

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

A couple of important dates to announce. The Halifax launch of my novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be September 22 at The Company House on Gottingen St. We'll likely kick things off around 7 pm, but I'll confirm that later. It looks like I've lined up a popular Halifax singer/songwriter, Kev Corbett, to play. I'm also hoping to have some spoken word. Here's hoping we get half of Nova Scotia in there!

Second, the Toronto launch is tentatively booked for October 4, so if you're in Toronto please mark that on your calendar. It will most likely be at the Lula Lounge on Dundas West. I'm still working on the music (if anyone has any ins with hot Toronto bands please let me know) but I'll keep you posted. I'd settle for having a third of Toronto at this event ;-)

Also, thanks to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia I'll be doing a book tour starting right after the Toronto launch. I'll be hitting Peterborough, Port Hope, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, and Charlottetown. If you know any good bookstores or other reading venues (libraries etc.) between Toronto and Halifax, please let me know about them. And if you live in any of those towns and are willing to put up a wayward writer for a night or two, you're my new best friend!

Lastly, I have a new video up on the book. I'll be doing a series of these "behind the scenes" snippets. This one is on the many themes of the novel (ecology, international development, helping professions, indigenous cultures, Western culture, individualism, collectivism, community, Canadiana, Indonesia, and immigration). You can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisBenjaminWriting#p/a/u/0/PAVPSisz0b0.

Thanks so much, and I hope to see you all at a launch or reading soon.

Chris
--
Chris Benjamin is the Sustainable City Columnist for The Coast (www.thecoast.ca). In 2006/2007 he worked as a journalist in Ghana. His first novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be published by Roseway in Fall 2010. His first book of nonfiction, Green Souls, will be published by Nimbus in Fall 2011. He shared an honourable mention in the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Chris has written fiction and features for The Toronto Star, VoicePrint Canada, This Magazine, Now Magazine, Descant, Third Person Press, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, The Society, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, Coastlands, Progress Magazine, and many others.

http://www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com
http://twitter.com/benjaminwrites
http://www.youtube.com/chrisbenjaminwriting

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

It's not bad enough for me to be technologically challenged, but then Blogger has a burp. Last three publicity releases on Chris Benjamin sort of came out like out of a burp gun.

Well, we'll try one more with a correction by Chris:

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry that last link on the green China story was wrong. Here's the correct one: http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/chinese-puzzle/Content?oid=1819670

Chris


On Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 9:03 AM, chris benjamin wrote:

Hi all,

Three things today:

1) The Downtown Halifax Business Commission gave me a hundred smackers to have a shopping spree on them, as long as I documented the experience as part of their "big day downtown" promo. So of course I bought books, but I couldn't resist being a little bit critical. See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3woYrQhzhq4.

2) I did a short news story on the controversial use of biosolids (composted sewage sledge), called Halifax Ponders Its Crap, and it's at http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2010/08/27/halifax-ponders-its-crap-biosolid-debate-heats-up.

3) My latest column looks at China's paradoxical greenness, and what Canada can learn from it. See http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/ArticleArchives?author=987300.

Happy watching/reading!
Chris
--
Chris Benjamin is the Sustainable City Columnist for The Coast (www.thecoast.ca). In 2006/2007 he worked as a journalist in Ghana. His first novel, Drive-by Saviours, will be published by Roseway in Fall 2010. His first book of nonfiction, Green Souls, will be published by Nimbus in Fall 2011. He shared an honourable mention in the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Chris has written fiction and features for The Toronto Star, VoicePrint Canada, This Magazine, Now Magazine, Descant, Third Person Press, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, The Society, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, Coastlands, Progress Magazine, and many others.

http://www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com
http://twitter.com/benjaminwrites
http://www.youtube.com/chrisbenjaminwriting

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Thanks for the bump.

Yes, Rosco and Rocco. I know their power. Last time I refused to buy anything from them, they burned my house down. :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Review? Just mention what it's about. Use the t.v. guide as your eh... guide. One or two lines is all that's needed.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

JR,

I've always had trouble with this advice to myself--KSS. Keep it simple, stupid!

the walking man said...

or take a page from Abbie Hoffman and title the book

"BUY THIS BOOK"

TomCat said...

Of course you can't review it, per se. Whatever you write in review will be tainted, either by your well known egotism, or by your well known self-depreciation. ;-)

But you can preview it by providing some backgrownd. Better yet, quote Mark.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Forrest Gump says I ain't got no eagle and I feel like I been put throudh an amaze.

But I think The Walking Man could do it for sure.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Michael Koerner once again. Thanks for allowing me into your web space once again.


Thought for Today:


"The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth" ~Chinese Proverb

Our always-growing community of newsletter subscribers reading this email is now over the 800 mark. The following is contained in this edition of the newsletter. If you have anything that you would like the community to see, or you are looking for old friends, don't hesitate to ask, and I will post it here in the newsletter.

Links Worth Visiting,
FAAR 2010
FAAR 2012
Site Support,
39 & Counting (Birthdates),
Anniversaries, and
Track Faded (Last Post)

ivan said...

Ah,
The good old Royal Canadian Air Force.
Was so proud to serve.

Anonymous said...

good
Obat Tradisional Kanker Payudara Stadium 1
Obat Tradisional Kanker Payudara Stadium 2
Obat Tradisional Kanker Payudara Stadium 3
pengobatan Tradisional Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Obat Ampuh Kanker Payudara Stadium 1
pengobatan Ampuh Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Obat Ampuh Kanker Payudara Stadium 2
Obat Ampuh untuk Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Jual Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 1
Jual Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 2
Jual Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 3
Jual Obat untuk Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Artikel Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 1
Artikel Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 2
Artikel Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 3
Artikel Obat untuk Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Kumpulan Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 1
Kumpulan Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 2
Kumpulan Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 3
Kumpulan Obat sakit Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Cari Obat sakit Kanker Payudara Stadium 4
Cari Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 1
Cari Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 2
Cari Obat Kanker Payudara Stadium 3
pengobatan penghilang kutil di kelamin
obat penghilang kutil di kelamin
obat penghilang kutil kelamin
obat untuk penghilang kutil di kelamin
Obat Penghilang Kutil Kelamin
pengobatan Penghilang Kutil Kelamin
Obat Penghilang Kutil
Obat untuk Penghilang Kutil di Kelamin
obat untuk Penghilang Kutil di Sekitar Kelamin
Penghilang Kutil di Kelamin
obat Penghilang Kutil
obat Penghilang untuk Kutil di Sekitar Kelamin
obat Penghilang Kutil
obat Penghilang Kutil Kelamin
obat Penghilang sakit Kutil di Alat Kelamin
obat Penghilang penyakit Kutil di Alat Kelamin
obat Penghilang Kutil di Kelamin
obat Penghilang Kutil
pengobatan Penghilang Kutil
pengobatan Penghilang Kutil di Kelamin Tanpa Operasi

Obat Herbal Manjur > > > said...

thank's for sharing
Tips Mengobati Benjolan Kutil Kelamin Secara Alami
Mengobati Virus Kutil Kelamin Secara Alami
Mengobati Virus Kutil Kelamin Pada Wanita Secara Alami
Mengobati Virus Kutil Kelamin Secara Alami dan Ampuh
Cara Untuk Mengobati Virus Kutil Kelamin Secara Alami
Mengobati Virus Kutil Pada Kelamin Secara Alami
Cara Cepat Mengobati Penyakit Wasir atau Ambeien
Cara Cepat Untuk Mengobati Penyakit Wasir atau Ambeien
Cara Cepat Buat Mengobati Penyakit Wasir atau Ambeien

Penjual Herbal said...

Tapi jika anda sudah terlanjur terkena penyakit ini, maka pengobatan yang harus dilakukan dengan Obat kutil di alat vital , lebih lengkapnya silahkan baca selengkapnya . Sebelum membicarakan tentang Obat kutil di daerah alat vital , sebenarnya ada hal lain yang lebih penting dari hal itu, yakni tindakan pencegahan silahkan baca selengkapnya . proses pencegahan sebagai Obat alat vital sakit ini juga perlu dibantu dari orang-orang yang ahli di dalamnya sehingga pencegahan tersebut efektif dan bisa sesuai dengan sasaran, silahkan baca selengkapnya . bila kita melihat lebih jauh dan meneliti beberapa kasus yang ada Obat keluar nanah di kelamin yang paling manjur adalah pencegahan sejak dini, silahkan baca selengkapnya . Dan ternyata ada Obat herbal wasir yang secara alami masih bisa dikonsumsi, silahkan silahkan baca selengkapnya . Penyakit kanker payudara bisa isembuhkan jika ditangani sejak dini dengan Obat herbal kanker payudara . Anda harus mengetahui gejala-gejala kanker payudara agar anda dapat mengobatinya sebelum terlambat silahkan baca selengkapnya .