The Spectre of Joyce

I caught an online Oprah Winfrey interview with Cormac McCarthy. Having only read No Country For Old Men I was and still am a little surprised by all the fawning atttention, but then traced his writing history and found Suttree (1979) .. “the novel’s evocation of Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, is often palpable”. How many writers did Joyce influence? I have lost count of the readers who say they cannot read Joyce, do not like him, yet on literary writers of the 20th century alone Joyce’s influence is always there somehow in some way in their work. Until I hear something that dismantles my view, I think I can say quite confidently that Joyce must be the most influential writer on writers to ever have been so disliked by readers.

How to get over yourself

Take the left leg, place at right angles to the hypotenuse of the trunk, then swing it high past the ear and down round the other ear. At the same time taking care not to bite the tongue completely away from the back of the mouth or crush the odd molar, bring the right leg round the other way in more or less the same manner and then jump. It should work.

Hopefully you’ll land in the pool. Then follow with 1000 metres of whatever stroke you can manage.

Splashing out into the great beyond

Checked the ticker out with the local quack, seems it’s okay so after slowing to a crawl, (anxiety had me going: oh shit not me heart), I’m somewhat relieved. I’ve moved back up from half the distance, half the pace, back to 1500 metres almost at a decent clip. There’s something about the pool that gets the head right.

Snowed under in the Drink of a Middling Life

Going back a bit into the middle of the lap of yet another middling swim I found myself under a category four grey bank of clouds. Oh, what is the chance of lightning today to turn my body into a soup for crabs. I tell you death itself is only a touch less scary and bitter than the shadow of the treat itself. And I swim on, reaching the wall at the end of yet another lap, my heart giving me a piercing thump, hearing words from the ether, ‘abandon ye all hope now’, my heart it says, ditto, says the sky, ye who are fool enough to be swimming on. Lap. swim. Lap. Caustic, funny, celebratory…is that it? a real blast for those who think writers get a rough ride from publishers and those writers who think they have a god given right to procrastinate! Lap. swim. A literary thriller satire from ElephantEars Press, the story set in London and New York, breaking down the strongroom walls gatekeeper-mad publishers have constructed over the centuries to keep writers in their place (no wonder writers are anxiety ridden rebels), publishers who think writers don’t matter (their life blood doesn’t matter!!). The bookworld, it is a changin’ …in one novel at least…Lap. swim. I climbed out and had a shower. It was cold and it was snowing. I was without soap or a towel, the boiler off in the middle of another middling day in spring.