Terribly busy at the moment. So this shall have to be a short one… I’m happily reading J. Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. After the glorious line-up of books I read while travelling; Clive Barker’s Everville, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, I feel like something more plodding and self-referential is a nice awakening back into routine. The one thesis that unites all the books that I read overseas is man’s relationship with and without society, I think. I managed to unite them, even if it’s just busy delirium talking. Clive Barker examines the line between extreme pleasure and sadomasochism and uses demonic metaphors to do it. McCarthy again puts forward the idea that men, deprived of society’s teaching and benefits, quickly devolve into savagery (which holds water, but I’d argue anyway – Society can also teach us that slavery is okay and the segregation, imprisonment and even killing of a minority is okay), William Burroughs seems to say do as you will and hang the consequences and Bradbury insists that comfortable self-deprivation is the only way to avoid loss of self by overindulgence.
Cooper, on the other hand, simply takes the standard Baroque melodramatic storyline, sets it against the backdrop of a war a la Gone with the Wind, Sayonara or Casablanca and gives it to us in the epistemological manner writers used to be allowed to.
What do you think? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?
WOW 2019. I’m actually emotional…this must be what having a great year feels like. 2018 was amazing, and I knew it would be because I said hello to it the right way; surrounded by my best friends. That’s the secret, folks. Surround yourself with all the live there is in your life. There is much more than you might think. Everything I wanted to accomplish, I have, although some of my aspirations may have been poorly informed…that’s how we learn.
I’m surrounded by New York City this time, but I love this city, so same deal. I hope you are surrounded by love or something you love. Remember why you love. Then, love with everything you’ve got.
There’s something I’ve noticed about a new release – because of late people have taken to asking me – what it feels like or presuming that it feels “great”. Well, it does feel great, as well as daunting, especially given that Mighty Mary is out through a new publisher. It is also humbling. I don’t just see a book, at the end of the day, I see hours innumerable of my own work and then am left to only imagine the work others have put into it. See, manuscripts are the product of a single person, but a book is the effort of many. There’re editors, like Jesse McGunn, there’s website people, PR people, cover designers and general businessfolk who have to handle all the other little things that you’d never even think of, but thankfully they have. If it was just me, then probably all it would feel is “great” – I believed in it, of course I did, I gave it my time because it’s my own. But all the others at and around Tamarind Hill Press who have given their efforts to it, that’s where humbling and daunting come from. They believe in Mighty Mary as well. I’m grateful it’s been given this opportunity. Now we wait and see how it goes, I guess. Until then, congratulations to all. We’ve created something together. We’ve given this beautiful elephant a voice she didn’t have before, a voice humanity stole from her. Albeit in fiction. But fiction can be powerful, anyone who doesn’t think so should read 1984. I mean, that fiction is so important it isn’t even fiction anymore. It’s like… pre-emptive nonfiction. Mighty Mary is in no way 1984, but it’s our little contribution and I hope we’re all proud of it.
There’s a lot more work to do. Dina, my curator, is going to help me work out a few signings and appearances here in Australia, and I’ll be traipsing around New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles next month. There’s an interview with Bohemian Rhapsody Club I’ll be shooting in two weeks’ time. There’s lots. Let’s see what interest we can cook up! And to everyone who’s already got a copy on its way – from the bottom of my heart, I hope it serves you the way fiction should.
But enough about me! I’ve just finished Philip K. Dick’s the Man in the High Castle. Science Fiction and History buffs get on it! It’s an amazing vision of what our world might have been in the mind-warping way only Dick can give you (You’re smiling. Read that last sentence aloud. Go on. Now you’re smiling.) You can check out my review on Goodreads… next is Michael Ende’s timeless The Neverending Story, and only two chapters in, I am utterly enchanted! Let’s go on this adventure together, go on! Read it!
Hello and welcome to my little corner of the ether! You should be reading a book, but since you’re here, I suppose you might be looking for a book to read. What was the last one you read?
At the moment, I’m about halfway through Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. I’ve heard there’s been a Netflix adaptation, and I hope they do it justice. I never saw The Handmaid’s Tale but I heard it was good… it’s just hard to go past Atwood’s incredibly beautiful and evocative writing, don’t you think? There are few filmmakers out there who could do it justice. I’ll warm up to these adaptations one day, I promise. I used to know someone who kept saying “The Handmaiden’s Tail” – I can’t help imagining Netflix adaptations being something like that. You know what I mean.
If you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll find that I like to post reviews of books I’ve read. That might help you get away from this infernal phantasmagoria of political opinion and social subterfuge in order to invest your eyes’ strength in something enriching and enlightening. Have you tried Looking for Alibrandi? I think you should. It’s wonderful, and uniquely Australian, but not so much that it’s alien to my international guests.
Oh, and Mighty Mary, when that drops. I hear that’s pretty good too.