I have been accused, at various points in my long and wonderful career, of spending a little too much time ‘incessantly riding the arse elevator’ (as a strange English friend of mine once put it). What this means, I think (and, indeed, hope) is that I prefer, wherever possible, to draw attention to the fruits of my own endeavour; ignoring all the while the fertile crops of my competitors.
I don’t think this is entirely true. Is this blog not already crammed with links to the work of other men and women? True, most of them come with a comment or two from yours truly – and the majority of them are published by my journal/publishing house – but what do you expect? I am a critic/editor: that is what I do. If I should harp on about Underneath the Bunker, it is not because I am vain, but because the journal is my child; my livelihood. And if it doesn’t get attention from me, who else is there to tuck it in at night?
Today, however, I have decided to embrace the spirit of common enterprise and sprinkle some ‘outside’ links over your plates, as proof that I do venture into other spaces; that I do step out of the so-called ‘arse elevator’ every now and again. As the brackets in the title suggest, this might be the first act of regular adventurings across the vast reaches of Internet culture. On the other hand, it might not.
First up the eternally un-ignorable Hooting Yard, with a piece entitled The Last Ditch. This is, as I have stated on the site, a moving stretch of prose; a taut elegy, complete with hiking boots and hypochondria. It must be read – at least seven times.
Meanwhile, here is a piece about beards, courtesy of the supremely intriguing A Journey Round My Skull. From the same site, a man riding an ostrich (I suspect he may be an active reader; I think he has a copy of some inspiring novel tucked under the feathers to his left).
Lastly, naming from The Lumber Room, which closes with the line: ‘It would be a mistake to suppose there is no pattern, or that names are meaningless; it is rather that the pattern is subtle and strange, as is language itself, and as are human beings, and gods.’