Saturday, 25 July 2009

hayley Campbell is still assessing what will be her trajectory through the world. She is currently looking at the prospect of 'professional bookhandler' as outlined at Skoob, which is the letters of 'books' rearranged, hence 'skoob glob'. Anway, there's an anecdote there about how Flann O'Brien had the idea of offering a bookhandling service to illiterates with big houses. He offered to come round and go through your shelves, thumbing your volumes, dog-earing pages here and there and adding scribbled notes in the margins such as "Yes, indeed! How true!" and "I don't agree at all" and "Well, well, well. Quite, but Boussuet in his Discours sur l'histoire Universelle has already established the same point and given much more forceful explanations". If there were still people who cared about not appearing illiterate and therefore customers to be had, I could see Hayley making a go of it. Hey, Hayley, while you're there you can spill soda pop on their computer keyboard and put a jam sandwich in the video player.

No, wait I forgot, you're not a kid any more.

Panel from The Years have Pants



Blogger Yoga Gal said...

She may not be a "kid" anymore but won't she always be your little girl? You are so sweet! Namaste- soft-hearted father!

25 July 2009 at 19:34:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Langdell said...

If you're ever at loose ends for a new book project, Eddie, I'd love to see your interpretation of "The Third Policeman" by Flann.

26 July 2009 at 16:47:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

funny you should mention it. Hayley had it with her on her latest trip back here, or she had just bought it at Bent Books to read going back to London, or something like that. I read it over a couple of nights. Up until halfway though I thought it one of the best books I'd read, then something went off and finishing became drudgery. I still think that first half was marvellous. I'd happily cut the book in half and reread the first half without feeling any need for there to be a conclusion. There was such a joy of invention just from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, with no real sense that you needed to carry it all in your head toward a conclusion. It all seemed to get jettisoned as the thing progressed, like the parts of a moon rocket.

26 July 2009 at 17:16:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Langdell said...

A graphic presentation of material from "The Third Policeman" could work without trudging through the material that doesn't work. I first encountered it and read it in one night, motivated to finish a New York friend's copy before flying to London the next day, so I don't have that sense of division. But when you reach the end of the portions that delighted you, I'm sure you could concoct a terse undrudgy way to convey the endlessness of the narrator's situation and take your leave with a still happy artist and reader.

26 July 2009 at 19:31:00 GMT-5  

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