December 6, 2006

“Like a bag full of genitals."

That's Will Self's description of his own face. Brilliant! Self-deprecation is so appealing... when it's done just right. And that's perfect. His new novel sounds pretty cool too:
“The Book of Dave” (Bloomsbury USA), is about a London cabdriver who inadvertently founds a religion when a ranting diatribe he buries in the garden of his ex-wife is dug up five centuries later, in a now post-apocalyptic world, and becomes a sacred text. Mr. Self’s own text is immensely learned in cabbie lore and even creates a cab-based “Clockwork Orange”-like language, in which the sun is the “foglamp,” for example, and the moon an “édlite.”
Perfect! Also in the article: Self arrives at Kennedy Airport and walks to his hotel in Manhattan. (See the photo of him on the Brooklyn Bridge, with just a slim book bag.) He used to consume lots of drugs and alcohol, but now he walks a lot: "But I’m not addicted... I don’t need to score a walk." Well, maybe you'd walk the 20 miles from airport to hotel if you had the NYT personnel accompanying you, taking note of your every observation. But how could your observations be as good as Self's?
[H]e caught a whiff of subway. “Ah,” he said. “The afflatus of the city’s bowels — now we’re getting into the real body of the city.”


Ron said...

That last subway reference means the straphangers are all just turds in the sewer system of NYC commerce... Nice!

"Bag full of genitals" leads to more descriptive terms like "a Fendi of Paris Hiltons."

Joe Giles said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
goesh said...

Lard has always been a poor man's sexual lubricant, in case anyone cares about such facts.

goesh said...

Apologies! I thought I was still in the trans fats section.

Scott Ferguson said...

A face " a bag full of genitals?" I bet kissing him is quite an experience.

James said...

[i]"the moon an “édlite.”[/i]

This should be 'eadlight, of course. Don't they teach anyfink in schools these days?

Ernst Blofeld said...

Mark Helprin, a novelist ("Soldier of the Great War", etc) engages in what he calls "straight line walking".


[i]Ever since he was a small boy he has practiced what he calls “straight-line walking,” i.e., walking from one point to another as the crow flies, heedless of whatever obstacles may intervene—“through houses, ponds, and streams, trespassing, going through barns and places you shouldn’t be. I’d crawl through brambles and over rocks, slog through muddy, disgusting marshes and reeds, over railroad tracks and dams,” he says.

“Mostly people adjust their course to take the easy way,” he explains. “Something appealed to me to take the harder way. The reward would be that you have tremendous friction and texture; if you have to encounter all these things, you get wet, cold, muddy, and scraped. You learn, you feel, and you see —you do things you wouldn’t have done.” He says this straight-line walking may have given John Cheever, a neighbor in Ossining, the idea for his short story “The Swimmer,” in which a suburban husband returns to his house by swimming across the backyard pools of his neighbors.[/i]

amba said...

Except he means "flatus." The definition of "afflatus" is:

1. inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within.

2. divine communication of knowledge.

3. A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.

"Divine afflatus" does sound pretty funny.

Ron said...

Well, potentially, the "bag full of genitals" might also be called the "Sack O' Nuts." Squirrels beware!

This may be an Althouse trap!

Revenant said...

Except he means "flatus." The definition of "afflatus" is:

I'd guess that the reporter is the one who got it wrong, especially since it is easy to confuse "the flatus" with "the afflatus", when spoken.