EDITORIAL - Ken Clay
JOHN MCGAHERN -Aubrey Malone
ANCIENT CHRONICLES – Alexis Lykiard
FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES Alexis Lykiard
ELDERLY EQUILIBRIUM Alexis Lykiard
TRYING TO MAKE SENSE Alexis Lykiard
A RABBI’S DAUGHTERS Alexis Lykiard
MALDOROR ENGLISHED Alexis Lykiard
UPROAR! SATIRE SCANDAL – Jim Burns
LAURA (2) Keith Howden
TONY PALMER – John Lee
TRANSCENDENTAL STUDIES –Ron Horsefield
ON COVID (4) –Tanner
TIES THAT BIND – Tom Kelly
KEEFIE CHAPTER ONE (2)- Ken Champion
LAST OF NINE – A CROWDED FIELD – Aubrey Malone
THE BEGGAR’S BANQUET – Mark Ward
END OF TERM – David Birtwistle
SMART-ARSE PARKING – Bob Wild
FARTHING (2) – Andrew Hart
AND CRAZY WYNDHAM
Rooting through a few back issues of Everybody’s circa 1954 I came across a short biog of Georges Simenon. Yep, the bloke was a phenomenon and had written (up to then) around 160 novels. He could knock one off in ten days. Andre Gide – the man who rejected Proust’s submission of A la recherche – was an admirer and considered him “perhaps the greatest novelist in contemporary French letters”
The smutty double entendre might occur to the English reader – and it wouldn’t be that far off. Georges was a premier league bonker. He himself wrote: “Women are what has fascinated me the most in life. I was hungry for all the women I crossed paths with whose undulating rump was enough to inflame me to physical pain. How many times have I appeased this hunger with girls older than me, on the threshold of a house or in some dark alley? Or I would sneak into some of those houses in whose windows a more or less fat and desirable woman wove placidly…. …I did the math once. From the age of twelve, I had ten thousand women in bed” Even more than Giovanni’s mille et tre. (but that was just the Spanish total). By this time horny Georges had written over 300 novels – some in as little as 24 hours.
At the age of 37, he was diagnosed with a very serious heart problem. He believed he was going to die, so he wrote his childhood and youth memories so that his son Marc would know who his father was. The diagnosis was wrong and Simenon lived to be 86.
How unlike the monastic isolation of the typical Oik scribe. Or more specifically, Wyndham Lewis, a great fan of Hitler, who invented the vorticist mag Blast. Ezra Pound was another founding member who wound up in an Italian jail. One might, at a stretch, see some similarities with the Oik, or any other upstart new mag. Technology has changed the odds these days and although Blast lasted only two issues the Oik steams on to issue 58 and is on a shelf in the British Library.
So what d’ya wanna be? A sex mad graphomaniac earning millions who finishes up in the prestige Pleiade series. Or a diligent, neglected litterateur shackled to the tripewriter hoping for some belated recognition (yes, it is a lottery) after your uncomprehending relatives consign your complete works to the local garbage dump after learning that Oxfam are not prepared to take them? It’s obvious innit? Keep the eternal flame burning and reject the undulating rump.
Ken Clay July 2023