Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

May 7, 2007

in yer ear

Sat down next to gal on bus yesterday discussing her “finance” exam marks on a mobile phone. Pitiful assault on the ears as I am trying to get to grips with Mr Roth’s rumination on his losing his modern library collection and disappointing his mother or plucking the feathers out of a pigeon or peeling grapes or… that’s the point the endless humphing in my left ear about a 71 that should have been an 84 like, (that word is the equiv. of a blink in this dialect, it’s so overused) meant there was no possible way to ascertain anything from the pages of my book.

Conversations about finance marks are useless. I could appreciate you won’t come to my wedding, I have a strange worrying bump on my elbow, I don’t know which way I should vote, I only have three Christmas’s left, type conversations, but this was unfathomable, unnecessary and likely to continue for 25 bus stops.

I moved. Enraged. To the dangerous seats in the centre of the bus, which turn about, and I have been ejected from a couple of times.

On moving I note a woman who I thought might be a woman I recognize from theflower-shop, but because recognizing people aint my strongest skill I cannot be sure. Today I ran into her. Were you on that bus? She confirms she was sat there trying to repeat a Latin word for some obscure muscle or tendon in her head in an effort to drown it out.

Every time I see a mobile phone I think of Harold Pinter and his piece. Neither Literature nor Latin could tumble finance yesterday. I think the only thing for the job is sean-nos singing. One of these days I will pluck up the courage to breathe in and let a desperate ballad of unmitigated ugly wailing out from between my lips about a woman seeking a decent shampoo and set or a large bowl of pea soup. The notes will be long. One word sung in an elongated manner to mimic the husky exhales of a hungry donkey. The song belted out, will travel up that bus and every head shall turn. I will bear the excruciation of it, risk getting myself sectioned for the glory of a hurriedly uttered “yeah gotta go man”.

February 23, 2007

Sack race

Japes they are gibbering on over on the Guardian ’bout the GLA (not to be confused with Ransome’s GA or the Great Aunt lest any 7 yr olds be reading) Britain’s greatest living author. Would there be any difference in this question and lining up six different varieties of puppies, lying down on the pavement, and trying to assess which was the best tail wagger. I think not.

 I have a much more cavalier solution to the quest. Stick the writers into sacks and instigate a race, preferably down a traffic congestion charge street to add challenge as they locate change. Or make them trot the railway tracks to Dundee. If there’s no track due to the Tory assault on British Rail, then make them lay one, pick axe and bucket provided. Finally take all tomes dump them in deep bucket of water and then sling them at various heads of candidates or volunteers to be entirely democratic, and let them decide which title makes the most violent impact. Eh voila.

The World’s Greatest Reader is certainly the Puffin who I noted kissing a book the other day and murmuring to himself “it’s so beautiful.” I doubt even the edgy — voice of a blah blah generation, I can describe a traffic light like no other, verbally plumb in a sink before you’ll find the plug and get to literary grips with the arse of end of donkey … Monsieur Amis can top that.

Mr A is however my best hope for a novel about teeth and dodgy jaws.

November 26, 2006

The temptation of a spat

I know it’s trivial to draw attention to it, but who can resist a spat. As spats go this one is pretty minor since it does not involve a set of dentures. One of my favourite spats was the Martin Amis’ teeth spat since I had the same dental issues as Monsieur Amis. (bi-max osteotomy http://www.eastman.ucl.ac.uk/~omfs/chopper.html is the genius who fixed my jaws with the hacksaw etc)  and longed to weigh in only on the dental front, never mind the book deal for God’s sake, consider the trauma to those poor overcrowded, on the road to recession gums. Did Mr Amis realize he could them fixed on the NHS? Getting your two jaws broken is great training for writing a novel, I discovered. Unfortunately it offers no advantage for finishing one.

I link to this article because I think it’s a well written and classy piece:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1956873,00.html

I’m not taking a position on the actual spat, since there are no teeth involved. But did wonder why no one took the opportunity to point out how poorly paid literary journalism is or freelancing full stop. I had to get a job as a security guard in order to subsidize my own journalistic efforts, but that could also be because it actually took me 40 hours to write that Booker Prize article. (“10-6 Roger, copy, over and out” Mr Sutherland perhaps)

I realized afterwards I either formulate my thoughts very slowly or I was doing something wrong, very wrong.