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I shouldn’t but I shall March 14, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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I really shouldn’t. I mean, I should be working… But as I thrashed around in bed, thinking about work and bills and how bad my hair is, I sought solace in literature. Well, actually, solace is a lie. I just thought it might knock me out, but it didn’t. Now the disenfranchised bookseller very generously gave me Steppenwolf some time ago, having decided that, at 35, I am still not too old to be educated. And quite right he is too. (He’s still giving away music, by the way.) I letched voyeuristically through another few pages, guffawing in places, thinking, “I must put that line on my blog,” in others (I won’t ever, of course) and worrying that Harry is, of course, me (except I’m dim, am not alone and, leider, don’t drink a pint of wine a day (usually)) in others still. But what I really got to thinking about, as I ploughed onwards, is that I never want to read a word of Russian literature ever again. Germans just do this type of… what? Nastiness? Not that I find Hazza nasty, of course. Erm. OK, outsiderishness, SO much better than the Russkies. With Russians it’s all so fucking moral and innocent and naive and uncynical. Hazza pisses all over the underground man. And as for Oblomov, who actually is me, except I don’t have a man-servant, well he can just fuck off in comparison. Absolutely fuck right off. No, give me German torture over Russian torture any day of the week. It’s darker, more twisted, more perverse and so much more fun. And no stinking, effing moralising being pummelled into you at every turn. Although far be it from me to make a ludicrous generalisation on the back of the last few days’ reading material…

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1. Wyndham the Triffid - March 14, 2006

Ah, Oblomov, I remember reading that when I was a student. Strangely enough, I almost got into a fight as a result of reading it – a Russian literature student I vaguely knew took great exception to never having heard of it and then when apeshit when I took Goncharov’s book out of my bag. I think he thought I had mocked the whole thing up just to piss him off. Which seem like an awful lot of work when I could be in bed thinking about work and bills and how bad my hair is.

2. BiB - March 14, 2006

Poor old Ilya Ilyich would hate to think he’d been the cause of an almost-fight. So just as well he’s dead. And never existed.

Do you mean you’ve already left your job? I’m sure very near the top of your list of potential occupations (at least of time, if not necessarily in the bringing-in-money (immediately) sense) must be writing that first novel. (Unless there’s already a W.T. Triffid novel out there somewhere? In The Owl, perhaps?) Or, perhaps, screenplay? Or just play? And, anyway, I thought your Sayeresque hair was well and truly under control (even if I do slightly disapprove your not giving the curls a hint of leeway)?

OK, back to somnolence.

3. Wyndham the Triffid - March 14, 2006

Bib, the novel/screenplay/play is on the list – as it has been for several decades and will probably remain while I fart about on the internet and drink coffee and worry that my hair is too short (ha!).I leave work towards the end of April and only time will tell whether I will do anything constructive with my time or idle about. Strangely enough, I was out the other night with a friend who announced she was on the verge of completing a novel. I smiled politely but, of course, like any sensible, normal person, inside I was raging with bitterness and a boiling, seething jealousy.

4. BiB - March 14, 2006

Yes, but hopefully it will be unspeakable crap, still get published and have execrable reviews and then you can walk tall at every subsequent meeting as she cowers and gradually drifts towards hermitry until exactly the moment that your first novel/play/screenplay is released to great acclaim. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised, he says, trying to drag this out and avoid a translation for as long as possible – well, it’s about AIDS and vaginal devices. I mean, for fuck’s sake – I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark Lawson was reviewing, a year hence, say, both yours and your friend’s works on the same show, lauding yours and lambasting hers. See, your day is near! (Obviously I’ll seethe with all sorts of unsavoury emotions too if you declare that you’ve written a bestseller on WTT somewhere down the line. I’ll picket Kentish Town in the name of bloggers’ rights and against scabs selling out for money, fame, glory etc. (Sounds lovely))

5. Wyndham the Triffid - March 14, 2006

God help I should keep you from a morning’s work translating the names of various vaginal devices, but I should put you at rest on the imminency of my bestseller. I can barely think of anything to blog about, let alone rattle out 100,000 of sparkling prose about – what? I fully intend to spend my unemployment in cafes reading poor novels, not writing them. And boring the world with various non-events in my life.

6. daggi - March 14, 2006

Looks like we’ve got the same non-events before us. I’m aiming for the end of May…

7. BiB - March 15, 2006

…but Daggi, are you also thinking of taking advantage of your (very early) retirement to write your (first?) opus, or have you still got the bucolic-idyll idea on the front burner?

8. daggi - March 15, 2006

I’ve asked a very good source of advice for some, er, advice on these fronts. At the risk of sounding like some comment-spam (“cialis”, “pen15 enlargement”, “felch1ng”, “Neil Clark”), I’ve posted the first reply at my very own blog! Hey, that’s grrrreeeaat, isn’t it? (Thanks Tony, you’ve ruined my teeth. Bastard. Cats, large or small, don’t trust ’em.)

9. BiB - March 16, 2006

Speaking of NC, I have had to leave a couple of comments there regarding his and his commenters’ support for Lukashenka. Support for Lukashenka!

I didn’t get this bit: (Thanks Tony, you’ve ruined my teeth. Bastard. Cats, large or small, don’t trust ’em.) Is it the start of your novel?

10. BiB - March 16, 2006

…and are you signed up for the BBC (Berlin Bloggers’ Convention)? Don’t think I can make it this time, but soon, soon…

11. daggi - March 16, 2006

Frosties. Like the weather.
“BBC”: no idea, never heard of it, where, when…why?

P.S. Neil Clark: what an idiot. If he could read German he’d be impressed by the Junge Welt’s “Slobo murdered” coverage. The taz’ headline was good: “Schlächter Abgang”.

12. BiB - March 17, 2006

You need to get over to Radio Free Mike, e-mail him on the address provided in the middle column of the site, and he’ll send you all the details. I couldn’t make it yesterday. I think in two Wednesdays’ time there’ll be the next one.

13. Bowleserised - March 17, 2006

The Stammtisch was fun – not all bloggers, I promise. Thinking about moving it to a Thursday permanently. Would be nice to meet you people.

14. BiB - March 17, 2006

B., do give as much gossip as poss. Who was there? Who was nice/nasty/instantly fallinlovewithable? (You can be diplomatic in your answers, of course!) I’ve spread the word to Daggi and Berlin Diary Paul. Hope I’ll be able to make it in two weeks’ time, although I’ve got a feeling I won’t, actually, as I’ll have a friend in town whom I couldn’t possibly go to a blog convention with as he doesn’t know I’ve got a blog. Unless I come out, I suppose…

15. daggi - March 18, 2006

Bib: I don’t think you need to come out, do you? How’s the Russian?

16. BiB - March 18, 2006

Oh, he’s a pain, as always, as other halves always are (although this could just be bored-of-work-ness and not-having-had-any-proper-fun-in-quite-a-while typing). Do you have the misfortune of being attached yourself? You mentioned a girlfriend once, but I didn’t understand if it was meant in the modern sense of simply female friend or something deeper. I was also wondering why the lovely Leon isn’t attached when all he ever does is cook, buy flowers and have a lovely haircut. He said something about always going for the wrong type. A likely story!

17. Bowleserised - March 19, 2006

It’s probably all the fault of straight women. We like a bit of a challenge – you know, some kind of cave man that we can coax into being nice to us. Just like pony stories girls read when they’re little in which the heroine – plucky, resourceful, a bit prone to daydreams – manages to win the trust of a wild horse that no one else can tame.
Except that somehow in adulthood that gets translated into having shitty boyfriends who don’t cook clafoutis and don’t see why a woman would want flowers.
Or at least, sometimes that’s the case.

18. BiB - March 20, 2006

I was thinking that Leon should so be batting for the other side, but then queens would only find an excuse not to have a relationship with a clafoutis-baking, flower-buying type too. I’ve got a deliciously lovely and staggeringly beautiful homosexual friend in Berlin whom I studiously try to set up with every other homosexual I meet in Berlin. And all folk ever do is find an excuse. Oh, he’s not dynamic enough, or, oh, he’s not wankerish enough. Honestly. The queens of today! Anyway, in my endless matchmaking efforts, B., meet Leon. Leon, meet B. (You never know.)

19. Bowleserised - March 20, 2006

That’s very gallant of you, and I *am* a tall brunette, but I think Radio Free might have a problem if it’s non-Platonic matchmaking.

20. BiB - March 20, 2006

Oh buggery flip! Come a-cropper at the first hurdle. But thanks for the excellent bit of insider Berlin blogger gossip. I’m off to go and spread some virtual tittle-tattle. Well Radio Free is a published author and awfully handsome so I can only give your match-up a ringing endorsement. And, alas, for poor Leon, the (perhaps long-distance) search goes on.


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