Friday, April 30, 2010

LES BELGES

Review in Le Soir. A compatriot review!

I think all Belgians, right now, have a need for curling up with a good book, each in our little corner of the bed, like any other old couple losing interest, then losing touch, then soon to be divorced.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LA FOLIE VERHAEGHEN

Review of sorts of OM on Pierre Assouline's blog. Babelfish that, I say -- you might be surprised. Dude digs, or so it seems -- my French is far less fireworky then I used to think it was.

(Again, still waiting for the backlash. Le Monde des livres, perhaps? Liberation? My brothers in French-speaking Belgium?)

Well now. This. The more I read about myself and this book I am accused of having written, the less I recognize myself. Partially due, no doubt, to me now being 6-7 years older than the book and in general much more brimming with existential dread than in the days when OM was nothing but a minute but rapidly uncontrollable fire burning in my brain, said dread nicely held at bay by the general malaise of the then-prevailing fin de siecle.

Otherwise put: I am far too old for these literary games now. (So I think.) (Too tired anyway.) It's not a world in which I belong. I stumbled into writing, or, more precisely, writing stumbled into me. Forgive me. It's not my fault. It's not me; it isn't.

Fortunately, the comments on Assouline's blog, wrought by folks who never met either me or my novel, tell me exactly who I am and why and where it's truly at.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MORE SELF-PROMOTION

One more happy-camper French review of Omega Mineur, at La Vie Litteraire, here.

Not that I'm complaining at all, but this whole series of extremely positive reviews (or maybe it's just my bad French) is making me quite nervous. Backlash to start in 1, 2, 3...

Monday, April 12, 2010

LES BELGES

From an impromptu Q&A session (interesting!) on William Gibson's blog:
Belgians have a certain reputation, deservedly or not, for (1) globalism, (2) startling outbreaks of interesting perversity.
Which somehow inexplicably seems both terribly fitting and completely incorrect.

(Also this, which I love, for it coinciding exactly with my own experience as an ex-writer:
The part of me that's writing this, now, is utterly incapable of writing a novel. The part of me that just wrote a novel is profoundly unavailable, right now, and will remain so until the next time I have to go out and walk for miles, whistling for it, convinced its finally run away for good and all.

People don't ordinarily meet the part of me that writes novels, and when they do, they must assume I'm not not doing very well. Which as a human being, right then, I'm not. In direct proportion to how well I might be doing, right then, as a novelist.

)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ENTRETIEN

Interview of yours truly (no f-words! swear!) on Radio France Culture here.
Podcast of it here.
Note: I speak my own version of English but there is simultaneous translation into French, which renders my English mercifully inaudible.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

APRIL FOOLS DAY

Here one can find the April Fools Day joke in the otherwise deadly serious French magazine Chronic'Art. The joke sentence, translated, is this:
And what if the best American writer of the moment were Belgian?
April Fools Day jokes only work if they're believable, Chronic'Art, and that statement can only be mistaken for true (if only for a brief second) in the writer's own invariably addled infallibly ego-ridden mind. So, yeah, Olivier Lamm, who otherwise is nothing short of a Mensch (a title I bestow rarely, very rarely), played a very cruel joke on me, en plein public. Just to spite Mr. Lamm, here's a fuzzy phone pic I took last night. Even bigger than Paris. Ha! I tower over Roppongi Hills!