Thursday, 1 December 2011
Yesterday at our Moffat Book Events meeting to progress plans for our May 26/27 2012 event themed on 'gardens', Carolyn Yates, our Dumfries & Galloway literary development officer, loaned me her copy of Machiavelli's Lawn. This clever little book, written and illustrated by the staggeringly good-looking and talented Mark Crick turns out to be the third in a series whose predecessors are Sartre's Sink and Kafka's Soup. The first item in the Machiavelli collection is such a brilliant parody of Raymond Carver's style, that, as yet unaware of the author's - the series - shtick, I assumed it was by Carver himself. Mark Crick not only writes brilliant parodies, he illustrates each short exercise with a drawing or painting in the style of Durer, Hockney, Klimt and so on. A very clever pastiche of artists and authors - I am amazed that I had never heard of the series or the author before. The committee has added his name to our invitation list. By way of a liber pro quo I gave Carolyn one of several copies on my bookshelf of A Scottish Feast - a collection of excerpts from real novels and stories with accompanying recipes that was compiled and published twenty years ago in aid of some good cause - perhaps the Society of Authors in Scotland? The rain has stopped at last, and I have been able to remove the metal waste paper basket from my stair where it stands to collect drips from the skylight above during heavy rain. It is a token of how much I love living in this house that I now regard this as a quaint, enduring characteristic not something to be repaired.