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Dickens expert discredited

7 Feb
Dickens Professor discredited

Professor Ludvic HafBäkd indicates how big the biscuit was

Professor Ludvic HafBäkd has long been considered to be the world expert on all things Dickens, so his announcement that he had unearthed findings which offered a tantalising glimpse into Dickens home life sparked interest world-wide, in the run up to his talk on the famous author.

Speaking at the British library earlier this week, HafBäkd said, “I have actually embedded myself in Dickens world. I’ve literally walked in his shoes… which was quite uncomfortable as I am a size 11 and he’s only a size 9. I’ve worn his clothes, bathed in his bathtub, written in his ink using his quill pen. I’ve even eaten an old biscuit found in a tin believed to have belonged to Dickens. It was yeasty. After all this exhaustive investigation I’ve realised, I am Dickens. Dickens is me.”

As confused journalists peppered him with questions HafBäkd began to respond by repeating, “What larks eh? What larks old chap?” until his wife, Mabel, came in and led him away.

“This unfortunate confusion might cast doubt on his numerous books on Dickens, especially where his research accreditation has been a bit hazy. He’s now taken to referring to his assertions as ‘anecdotes’ and appears to think that Dickens lives in his house with him,” said fellow Boxford Professor Ridgley Bowel-MacFarten.

Having managed to obtain an interview with Professor HafBäkd, he had this to say:

LB: Charlie and I go way back. I feel like I know him better than my wife and kids.

Q: Your children, whom you’ve named Pickick Papers HafBäkd, Little Dorrit HafBäkd, Barnaby Rudge HafBäkd and David Copperfield HafBäkd?

LB: Yes we’ve got another one on the way who we’re going to call Edwin Drood HafBäkd as well.

Q: Congratulations.

LB: Thanks, they do sort of infringe on my time with Charlie though. He can actually be pretty possessive.

Q: …?

LB: Yes, the more time I spend helping little Pickwick Papers with his homework or fixing Barnaby Rudge’s bicycle for him (a pennywhistle naturally) well, let’s just say he get’s sulky. He never talks much anyway and lately I’ve been getting vibes. But I’ve decided to make all the kids go and work at the local blacking factory…just like Charlie did when he was their age, which should cheer him up.

Q: How does this er…possessiveness manifest itself?

LB: Oh you know, every time the wife starts yacking about something or other I’ll see him across the room staring, just staring for hours on end. It can be quite unnerving.

Q: Are you referring to the famous painting of Dickens which hangs in your study?

LB: It’s only when we’re alone that I can really be myself around him. He understands that. He understands everything.

Q: OK, I think I’ll go now.

Q: Yes, you go. Me and Charlie D need some special time. (In an undertone) Yes, Chuck chuck, our mutual friend is leaving now…no, there are no more biscuits…

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Poet Rodney Blatchweaver on street sweepers and prostitutes

23 Jan
beat poet

Tortured recluse

We spoke to poet Rodney Blatchweaver, a writer who describes himself as “leading the tortured existence of a recluse who unfortunately is too popular to enjoy a sheltered life.”

Q: Tell us what drives you as an artist.

RB: I love that question.

Q: (After a minute or two) is that your answer?

RB: Is that your question?

Q: Is THAT your answer?

RB: That’s up to you.

Q: Thank you.

RB: Don’t mention it. The point is not to apply your own meanings to your work, after all, poetry is subjective and meaningless beyond what the reader applies. I often ask street sweepers and prostitutes to read my work so that they can reveal to me what the true meaning of the piece is.

Q: Have you ever performed your work?

RB: No, I’m rubbish at reading.

Q: What did your new work Barracuda Phosphorous* mean?

*Barracuda phosphorous

Jim jam baloney

Tastes like that new flavour of marmite

RB: According to bricklayer Tom Ludd it was, (making quote marks) “shit.”

Q: How do you respond to that?

RB: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Rodney’s numerous publications include Bravo the Heimlich manoeuvre, Eyebrow Catastrophe, Holding Only One Ball, Things I Imagined while Sleeping with You.