To Be Read, and Re-Read

To be read:

Tess of the Baskervilles – Nella Evades
Nadia Took the Night-Train – Lucien de la Grepes

To be re-read:

Sanctified Elders in the Semiotic Scrofulous Larboard – Martin Brunt
The Loudness of the Hummingbird Meets the Silence of the Ghostdriver – Kirios Quebec
Rabbit Pie – Ka Naurauch

To be tossed away:

Collected Essays – Aldous Egg

Hat Feast Pending

Further to yesterday’s announcement (see post below) I have received correspondence from an anonymous and cantakerous source (i.e. Aldous Egg):

Mr Riecke,

Hear me when I say that if this Nonik book of yours sees the light of day in 2009 I will eat my hat, your hat, your wife’s hat, Nonik’s hat, Carl Stensson’s hat, Heidi Kohlenberg’s hat, Jinpes Terenk’s hat, Johannes Speyer’s hat, Eva Holubk’s hat, Pyetr Turgidovsky’s hat, Napoleon’s hat, Margaret Thatcher’s hat, Aretha Franklin’s hat, the Cat in the Hat’s hat, the Mad Hatter’s hat, Magritte’s model’s hat, Van Eyck’s hat/turban, the wife of the man who mistook his wife for a hat and his hat too, Fritz Kakfa’s hat, Franz Kafka’s hat, Jean-Paul Sartre’s hat, Max Beerbohm’s hat, Harry Bensley’s hat/helmet, the Queen’s hat/crown, a workman’s hat, a surgeon’s hat, a hat-maker’s hat, a hustler’s hat and every hat worn by anyone who happens to be walking down my street on the last day of this dear year.

Well – what can one say? I hear you, Mr. Egg –  I hear you loud and clear. And let me say that it looks like quite a feast you’re preparing there, even when you consider the fact that 1) some of these people you list may not actually own a hat (e.g. Carl Stensson) or 2) they own hats which would, let’s be fair, be somewhat difficult to acquire.

Still, thanks for the feedback and I’ll take care to send you a copy of the book when it appears (which will, of course, be soon).

Fascinating Endurance

‘Georgy’s is a fascinating site’, writes the ever-generous Frank Wilson over at Books Inq. As it turns out, this is not the first time that that particular word (‘fascinating’, not ‘site’) has been used to describe my web activities. Only last week I received a letter from an old university friend, who made the following observation: ‘fascinating to see you still on-line’, a comment which contains, I sense with regret, more than an echo of the insult served up a couple of years ago by my old adversary Aldous Egg. ‘The most fascinating thing about Georgy Riecke,’ wrote Egg, ‘is the fact that he keeps going, regardless of a lack of talent, subject matter and, most obviously, public interest’.

Ignoring the rest, I am at least happy to accept endurance as one of my main critical qualities, which is more than you can say for Mr. Egg, whose current web presence continues to consist of no more than this empty blog. ‘It is better to say nothing than to vomit nonsensical tripe’ might be the man’s reply, to which I retort that ‘it is better to try and write interesting things than to sit around the house all day drinking cheap rum and re-cataloguing one’s glaringly incomplete collection of Italian pornography’.

More on that villain here, here  and, quite possibly, here.

Scared of leaves?

In response to issues arising from the last two posts, I have received a letter from a certain Aldous Egg (you may remember him – if not see here). The letter was not addressed to me exactly, which is why I have published it here, rather than, well, here. The letter was, nevertheless, intended for my eyes – and I am happy to supply you with a synopsis of its contents.

As usual, Egg takes the opportunity to be critical of my character, claiming that I am ‘well known for taking pains to present a skewed double-image’ of myself  – and that I ‘crave to be considered “human”‘. Alas, I admit it – I am so often sadly inclined to deny the theory that I was born on another planet.

Egg goes on: ‘convinced of his greatness, he can’t help throwing his weaknesses in our faces’. He cites as an example the admission I made in the previous post; that autumn had been ruined, in part, for me, by the power of a story in which leaves falling from a tree are recast as killing machines (see below). This admission, Egg thinks, is false. Why so? Because he believes that ‘the power of literature cannot really permeate the senses of a logical man’. I beg to differ.

By the way, the sum of Mr Egg’s intelligence continues to be revealed, in all its glorious entirety, in his blog – which can (still, amazingly and amusingly) be found here.

Scrambled Egg

I notice only now that the author of the aforementioned accusatory letter (see post below) was none other than Aldous Egg, an ancient rival of mine. About a year ago it was drawn to my attention that said critic had a blog. The blog still exists – and I can safely say that in its present state it contains absolutely everything of interest that this ignoble mind has ever penned.

Common decency prevents me from pouring any more of my freshly produced scorn upon Aldous Egg and his unwashed pan of a career. For those who know nothing of him (lucky souls) I feel I must, however, offer the following observations. Egg was, and maybe still is, the editor of a cultural journal entitled ‘Knockespotch’. I have never read it – or if I have, I have since been through therapy to erase the trauma. Now I think of it, I doubt that he has ever had much time to put into the rag, since he seems to have spent the majority of the last three years sending my own journal hate-mail (two instances of which can be found here). Most of it is painfully unoriginal, although I will congratulate him on the sentence with which he closed one such missive. ‘Sir,’ quoth the villain: ‘If you have ever gone anywhere, you have gone too far’. See how this insult bites at the heels of meaning, without ever quite sinking in the teeth?

All else I know of Mr. Egg beyond these few paltry facts is that he owns a beard and has no sense of smell, an unfortunate afflication, from which the following saying derives. ‘I cannot smell,’ declaims the idiotic oviform – ‘but I can smell a rat’ (a clear lie, since he cannot smell himself.)