Thursday, December 18, 2008

All come to look for America

"He has no personal name at all. His dadda is in far Amurikey."

"Which of the two Amurikeys?" asked MacCruiskeen.

"The United Stations," said the Sergeant.

"Likely he is rich by now if he is in that quarter," said MacCruiskeen, "because there's dollars there, dollars and bucks and nuggets in the ground and any amount of rackets and golf games and musical instruments. It is a free country too by all accounts."

— Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman
====================================

A strip mall. 7-Eleven. Liquor store. Smoke shop.

Bits of tire. Fenders. License plates.

A gender reassignment clinic.

What is this place?

"America."

America.

"I don't feel good."

— Adrian McKinty, Fifty Grand
© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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17 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Paul Simon fan are you?

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

More that he's part of my cultural landscape and internal soundtrack, though my high school songwriting friend and I did rewrite "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" as "Fifty Ways to Make an Omelette."

That was around the time I was a Kerouac fan. A few years later, when my first newspaper published serveral staff members' football picks each week under pseudonyms, I was Sal Paradise.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Good taste in wives has Paul Simon.

I also liked him a lot in Annie Hall but I cant forgive him the Boxer. Any walk in any pedestrian zone anywhere in the world will generate at least one busker murdering the Boxer especially during the lei lee lei bits.

Ever go to kerouac's grave in Lowell? I told McFetridge and Burke to go on their jaunt through Mass, but did they listen to me? Did they feck.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Ah, man. Brilliant comparison. I'm only three chapters in (reading it alongside Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere now -- spoilt for quality right now) but I've detected more instances of this wry humour than I have in the other McKinty tomes. Loving the new protagonist.

gb

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You probably like Paul Simon's wives because he proposed to Carrie Fisher after a Yankees game and because he and Edie Brickell named their first child Adrian.

My song-writing friend and I put a creative spin on "The Boxer," I like to think. On the boom sound that comes right after the "lei, lee, lei," one of us would burst a blown-up paper bag. For some reason, we never gor through the entire song.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

But it's Cat Stevens rather than Paul Simon who exemplifies weird busking for me. I remember approaching the Pantheon in Rome along a narrow street off the Piazza della Minerva on a clear, warm spring evening, and I heard a busker singing a Cat Stevens song before I saw the building. It was a kind of musical red carpet to one of the world's great buildings, not that I like Cat Stevens that much or anything.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, Gerard, a bit more wry humor because of the prime satirical targets. But that follows a prologue as tense as anything in the Forsythe books.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

The city of Saginaw should put up a statue of Paul Simon; more people heard of the place from that one song than had ever heard of it before, I'll bet.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Oh, and Peter, a friend and I once decided that "One Less Bell to Answer" would be better titled "One Less Pancake to Flip."

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And rarely has the name Saginaw been uttered with such grandeur, I'd wager.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"One Less Bell to Answer" includes the line "one less egg to fry," I think, so your invention stuck closer to the original than mine did. The euphony and scansion of "One Less Pancake to Flip" are beguiling, though.

"Fifty Ways to Make an Omelette" included the lines "Just get a new pan, Stan," "Flip the other side, Clyde" and "Don't try to deep fry, Sly / Wash it down with tea."

December 18, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

You know the Canadian novelist Douglas Glover? I'm waiting for his crime novel to come out so Dec Burke can have a post entitled "Fifty Ways to Read Doug Glover"

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I wouldn't worry too much. Declan can craft a serviceable pun from much-less promising raw material than that.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

"Ever go to kerouac's grave in Lowell? I told McFetridge and Burke to go on their jaunt through Mass, but did they listen to me? Did they feck."

If you've seen my blog you'll notice we were a little busy on that trip.

Speaking of kerouc a friend of mine, Ray Robertson, had a novel published last year called What Happened Later:

Poetic, poignant and clever, "What Happened Later" is a unique and engaging story of two lives that were forever changed by one book. In 1967, only ten years after the sensational success of ON THE ROAD, Jack Kerouac was a physically broken, spiritually lost man. Late that summer, accompanied by his friend, Joe Chaput, Kerouac set out for Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, on a spiritual quest to connect with his French-Canadian roots. Predictably, the trip was a drunken, chaotic disaster, and a little more than two years afterward, Kerouac was dead. Fifteen years later, after falling under the spell of the larger-than-life-myth of Jack Kerouac, a working-class, small-town Ontario teenager named Ray Robertson embarked upon his own quest--to own a copy of ON THE ROAD. Rebuffed at every turn in his attempt to possess the elusive novel, Robertson nonetheless slowly begins to recognize the existence of a world beyond the factories, hockey rinks and suburbs of his hometown, and also begins to comprehend his own French-Canadian heritage. Taking its title from Kerouac himself--"What Happened Later" was the title of his proposed sequel to ON THE ROAD--this novel tells the story of what happened after the fame generated by Kerouac's famous book and what happened next in the life of a young man infatuated with the legendary author. Interweaving the story of one author's slow decline with one boy's literary coming of age, "What Happened Later" explores the ever-shifting dualities of myth and reality, loss and hope, innocence and experience, endings and beginnings.

See here.

December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Predictably, the trip was a drunken, chaotic disaster.

Unlike your fictional-robbery-spree-cum-real-life-business-trip with Declan, one must emphasize.

I like the quest for his own French-Canadian heritage. It reminds me of clips of Trudeau scolding an audience in French that he was proud to bear the name Elliott. Quebecois oui! Pure laine, non!

December 18, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

It always comes back to Kaybeck doesnt it?

December 19, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ah, you oppressors wouldn't understand.

December 19, 2008  

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