the choice of one's author photo is a thing one should not make lightly. As I write this, I have a dog subbing for me in the 'profile' photo over there on the right, while I wait for a decent image to turn up. They get harder to find as you advance, it goes without saying.
Back when I was living in Britain in the early '80s, on those occasions when I picked up the Guardian or Observer (on Sundays) for something special, such as Posy Simmonds' 'Little Match Girl' colour Christmas comic in 1984 (which I reread yesterday), I'd always notice Sue Arnold's photo at the top of her column, and feel an urge to keep it. Having no function in my filing system for salting away something so random, I'd just clip the photo, or the whole column, and stick it in with the other article I was saving, knowing that I would accidentally come across it at some future date. I did it quite often, and one day when my heirs are rummaging through my files they will have cause to wonder about this odd obsession, this paper stalking.
I have no way of knowing if the lady herself looked just so, or if she did but several years in the past, as one often finds with author photos, but that is beside the point. An image has its own life and makes its own way in the world. If the Mona Lisa could have tilted her head just so then we would have understood the half-millenial appeal of that famous portrait, and the mysterious allure of the smile is about equal. Perhaps the spectacles conjured for me the possibility of an imaginary scholarly soulmate. Today, when the wife of my bosom looks at me over the top of her specs, as she has of late needed the ocular assistance, then flags flutter in the heart of Eddie Campbell.
I wondered what the lady journalist had been up to since I last filed her author photo, and was horrified to find that she had lost most of her abilty to see. I was also disturbed by the way the internet leaves all our positions on an argument still jostling side by side with no minder between them should a fight break out.
Smoking dope restored my sight
Journalist Sue Arnold wrote in The Observer in September 1997 of how smoking Skunk temporarily restored her vision.
Why I ditched my liberal views on dope Sue Arnold wanted to legalise cannabis - until the drug triggered a psychotic episode in her son
The Observer, -Sunday January 18 2004.
Oh well, I think in my next profile photo I shall go for that professorial look over the tops of my specs. Every time I look at it I'll be reminded of a pair I used to have that would always be slipping down my snozzle. 'Why do you wear your glasses on the end of your nose?' a girl once asked me. 'They'd do me no good on the end of my willy.' I replied professorially.
Labels: author photo