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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 03, 2006

Tagged by Marie

Hmmm. Marie really hasn't been blogging enough lately, but I'll do this anyway, because it's in a good cause.

1. Briefly describe an aspect of your life for which 'The Dying Of Delight' [Clare's book] would be an apt title.

Probably this title best refers to the day I picked up Don Delillo's The Body Artist to read, after having spent 3 years writing my PhD thesis on his previous 5 books (The Names, White Noise, Libra, Mao II, Underworld, plus his pseudonymous effort Amazons). That was the day I realised that I'd destroyed my ability to enjoy his work, and could never read him again - or, at least, not for a very long time. In the space of a few years, I went from laughing out loud at White Noise to throwing The Body Artist across the room because it was pants.

2. Pick another book whose title has some resonance in your life, and write a little about it.
Hmm. Probably this would be The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts. I'm no religionist, nor a mystic, but I found Watts' work on Zen Buddhism, and of course Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, extremely helpful in getting through life. The Wisdom of Insecurity essentially tells you to stop worrying about things over which you have no control, and to waste less energy trying to control those things. I'm not saying I'm able to live like this all day and every day, but it's never far from my mind.

3. Write one more short personal piece - one which matches the book title chosen (in part 2) by the person who tagged you. - i.e. "Fight Club" (from Marie)
This title doesn't really evoke anything for me, apart from the memory of the film, which I just didn't get why people loved it so much.

4. Take your favourite little-known book and plug it to your readers. Authors need incomes, and word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell books.
Well, I do this kind of thing frequently on this blog. I especially champion writers who – for reasons I can't fathom – don't seem to get UK publication. So, once again, I'll mention Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, which is a classic of 70s SF (for Speculative Fiction, in this case), and only seems to get more relevant as time goes on.

5. Sit back and marvel at the magnificence of this meme. It was brought to you by an out-of-breath author, reduced (on account of her publisher* having expired) to trundling copies of her book across the internet on a rusty old trolley with one wheel missing, sweating and shouting "Buy me book, Gov?" Now visit TheDyingOfDelight and see if you'd like a copy for yourself.

6. Tag five people with this meme.

I honestly, really, don't know enough people. I need to get out more.


  • Sorry. I'm a busy lady these days.

    Reading Underworld pretty much kills DeLillo for everyone, even if it's the one you read first. And I'm speaking as someone who enjoyed Underworld. About six years later and I'm just abut ready to read Americana. We'll see...

    By Blogger Marie, at 4:51 pm  

  • Yes, it was the thing I dreaded most, having to read Underworld for the second time. Ironically, my chapter on it was the only one published in an actual book, as opposed to a journal.

    White Noise is the best for me, and anyone who reads it should also try to check out Amazons (by Cleo Birdwell), which DeLillo wrote pseudonymously (about 4 years before White Noise), and refuses to have added to his official bibliography.

    There is a payoff to doing it that way, but I don't want to spoil it.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 1:19 am  

  • Of course, Americana isn't so much a novel as it is a Menippean Satire.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 1:21 am  

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