Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Retreat

An interview with Philip Roth on The Observer, not linked to here for the simple reason I cannot understand why we (or the medja in our apparent interest and from whom I should state I do earn the odd muffin, incredibly minimal quantity of muffins but muffineen none the less) keep hunting these people who don’t want to be interviewed down. Leave him and those like him alone. We don’t need these pilgrimages to the foot of his remote country lane to learn life busting facts such as the fact his legs have grown incredibly skinny. God help us. Nor one hopes by age 75 should he give a toss that Hitchens (whose miraculous qualification in this instance is he’s lived as a reader through every phase of Roth’s writing …so likely has the average man doling out the shoes at the local bowling alley) declares him fouling his nest (it’s like an uninvited member of the Health Board popping in to comment on the dusting). And the obligatory hasty summing up of a writer’s work, inbetween descriptions of how his brow is furrowed and he doesn’t want to answer questions this afternoon puzzle me as to their purpose.  Why are we going to writers, as though they have any more answers than anyone else? Especially when they’re hiding away among the apple trees, lusting after a bit of peace. Surely we should keep our dealings to what is on the page, rather than the mantlepiece.

Anne Enright had a great piece recently (in Guardian land) describing the perils and viciousness of public questioning. I’m beginning to think we feel writers may have some extra organ we don’t know about that endless questioning may reveal. 

There are people more suited to this boiling to the bones for the last dregs of their information for example and it is a prized topic of mine… weather forecasters. I’d like to see the folks grilled who did a impressive job of predicting the strength of those recent hurricanes who sign the National Hurricane Centre bulletins with only their surnames … or the neurologists could explain why those bright lights and coloured packets in shops make us dizzy? Or experts in the ear canal? Audiologists have minutae on ears to spare. Plus there’s a great deal to know about bees based on a brief exchange with a bee expert.

The Puffin when asked this week for a school assignment who he’d most like to meet declared the person who invented air conditioning. So there’s another niche that needs attending to.

I know why’d I read it? (Mainly because it stated he was writing his last book..and I had to figure out how a person could know such a thing. It did not shed any light) Why do I have links here to writers gabbing? Well it’s a recent insurrection and this piece provoked particular perhaps once off grumpydom. Why do I write about writers? Cue stubbing of inconsistent, hypocritical toe. 

Here’s another curious beam: Neon sign flashing yes above this monitor.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

2 Responses to “Retreat”

  • Lori W. says:

    Interesting article on Google-brain. I find that I still find reading a book much easier on my eyes than reading on the screen, but we have stopped the task of memorizing information. Part of the body of my performance is about memory, and I am thinking about doing some old-fashioned feats of memory to see how it affects my brain. With women, hormones play a big part in memory and the loss of memory, I think. I also heard a friend of my son’s say; “I’ll bookmark that in my mind” and “erase that”. I think he gets that from cartoon-speak though.

    Regarding bios of inventors–don’t you find the Scots are very proud of their inventors and tend to interview them and teach their biographies? If the inventor of the air conditioner is Scottish, you will be able to find lots on his life, I’d bet.


  • mrsokana says:

    Here is the dude; apparently he’d a bit of debt to ancient Rome and Persia..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Haviland_Carrier

    Willis Haviland Carrier (November 26, 1876 – October 7, 1950) was an engineer and inventor, and is known as the man who invented modern air conditioning.


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