You hate him when he spoilt-brat-gobshites throwaways like this:
My face did not so much resemble that of Albert Steptoe, the senior - the resoundingly senior - ragman in the early proletarian TV soap, 'Steptoe & Son'....
"Proletarian soap opera"? *Clunk* (You did watch a few episodes I take it Mardey???)
But then, just when the Kingsley's-wastrel-son-knuckles-down-and-through-sheer-hard-work-and-talent-alone-gets-a-really-big-break-reviewing-books-for-the-(wait for it, wait for it.....)-TLS-schtick gets almost *so* grating that you want to heimlich manouevre the silver spoon out of his mouth, you have to dust off the chip from each shoulder and just marvel at the insight and the prose....(and the sheer, blissful "male turkeycocking"** of it all...)
Someone - Horacio Martinez, most probably - has sent me an article from "The Bulletin of the History of Dentistry" called 'James Joyce's Ulysses and Dentistry' by Horacio Martinez. It's subheads are, in order, Joyce Appreciated Dental Health, Joyce Abhorred Dental Disease, Joyce Advocated Prevention, Joyce Valued Dental Treatment and Joyce Observed Dental Habits......he says things like "it is high time to extend Joyce's readership among members of the dental profession" and "there is much in this book that transcends the purely dental"....
Or this, on my favourite current hobby horse (well apart from the obvious) - The Age Of Mediation....:
The present phase of Western literature is inescapably one of 'higher autobiography'...'What can you reveal about me?', Saul Bellow once asked a prospective biographer, 'that I haven't already revealed about myself?' One of the assumptions behind HA, I think, went as follows: in a world becoming more and more this and more and more that, but above all becoming more and more *mediated*, the direct line to your own experience was the only thing you could trust. So the focus moved inward with that slow zoom a writer feels when he switches from the third person to the first.
There's a great bit too, where he's walking along in Batswater or somewhere and gets slowed down behind an old lady and some big burly black guy with a white girlfriend hurls him out of the way and as they speed ahead of him, the girl turns to her boyfriend and says "'he's shit nisself"
On balance, I'd still say "Mardey rools..."
*That's Mardey, *not* Kingsley.....
**A.S. Byatt - to name but three...
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