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Book of Jokes: the video preview - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
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Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:01 am
Book of Jokes: the video preview

I'm writing a long fiction called The Book of Jokes right now. Basically it's the story of the world's most dysfunctional family -- a family defined by some of the world's darkest jokes. It'll be published by La Volte in September 2008, initially in French. La Volte will license it to other publishers (if you're a publisher and interested in the rights for your country, contact Xavier Belrose). Here's a mock-up of what the English edition of the book might look like when it comes out next year:



I thought it might be interesting -- very much in the spirit of jokes, which are a kind of open source oral culture, but also in the spirit of 18th century subscription publishing -- to open up the composition process over the next months by doing a series of readings of excerpts of the book (unedited drafts, basically) on a new YouTube channel called bookofjokes. So here's the first reading, a couple of bits from Chapter One concerning our glass house, my father the trouser snake, and the death -- in a hunting accident -- of my uncle The Englishman:



Disclaimer: This material is dark and filthy and sick and deranged. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is a total fucking joke, mate.

42CommentReply

niddrie_edge
niddrie_edge
raymond
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)

Like some weird hybrid of Jam and Flann O Brien.
I look forward to more.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand





obliterati
obliterati
Night of the Living Dave
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)

"Any resemblance to persons living or dead is a total fucking joke, mate."

Noted, my man! Thanks for the warning!


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)

"Any resemblance to persons living or dead is a total fucking joke, mate."
mmmh. I did recognise myself in brother francesco, or was it San Francesco?
Anyway, just can't wait for the book of jokes!
Francesco


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cityramica
cityramica
cityramica
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)

quick like a bunny! you banged out that book in nothing flat!


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kalafa
kalafa
.,.,.,.,.,
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)

absolutely! i wish i was as focused.


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)

quick like a bunny! you banged out that book in nothing flat!


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fishwithissues
fishwithissues
jordan fish
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)

Thanks, this is great. I dig the bees buzzing around in the background.

Also the book jacket is some nice design, even if it makes a bit of a joke out of earlier-this-week's street art entry. Hey, dialectic: street art vs. patina!


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 08:46 am (UTC)

The bees are the sound of me messing around on my Korg Mono/Poly, with which I've recently been re-united.

And yes, there's tagging on the book jacket! It's a photo of a chair I shot at the Beaux Arts in Paris and it actually suggests the underground, writeable, illicit nature of jokes quite well. It also looks a bit Arabic, that tag. But more important is the doodle below, which says "Merder". And the whole kind of "put your butt here" nature of a chair. It's the essence of comedy.


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microworlds
microworlds
Sparkachu Maelworth
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)

For some reason, you remind me of a little boy reading this. I don't know, it strikes me as odd because the material is dark and filthy, etc. It's weird connecting the two when they are both completely opposite of each other.


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 08:08 am (UTC)

why is ocky milk not on itunes?

and i would like an audio book of your book as well.


much love,
random appreciator


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)

I'm not quite sure why Ocky Milk isn't on iTunes. It's on eMusic and on Cherry Red's own mp3 downloads page.

We're talking about doing a CD or DVD with the book when it comes out, which might be these vids, collected, or might be just readings; an audio book.


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cellophane_soul
cellophane_soul
no more grieving
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 10:19 am (UTC)
i picture...

...a taxidermy of humpbacked Aesop Fable preserved in a big jar with pickles and mustardseeds... and eaten by an old lady without her dentures as a late night snack...


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC)
Re: i picture...

Aesop, La Fontaine, Leopardi, Rabelais, Moliere, De Sade, Lucian, Bruno Schulz, Swift, Sterne, Calvino, Gombrowicz, Kafka, Diderot, Apollinaire, Leiris, Bataille, Mishima...


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC)
Subtitles

how about some subtitles for the english disabled?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)
Re: Subtitles

The subtitles for a book-reading are the book itself!


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC)

We know all we need to know, when the cover of the book is finished before the actual content. Good luck with that one.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)

And we know all we need to know when the judgement on the book comes in before the actual content has been read, and is based on the cover!


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
en Français ?

Do you think/write it in French first ? and what's the french title going to be ? I know you're quite fluent in French, judging on some previous entries here.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: en Français ?

It'll be translated into French by a pro translator. That's way beyond my skills in the language!

As for whether it's "thought" in French, well, since La Volte have been in on this from the start -- they're the only publishers ever to have pursued me, and Xavier Belrose, the editor, has been in touch since his days at Serpente a Plumes, encouraging me to write something for one of the French houses he's been associated with -- it's certainly encadré in a French context. Also, culturally, I think it owes a lot to french traditions -- the medieval gross-out elements of Villon and Rabelais, the fables and clarté school of La Fontaine, the libertinage of De Sade and co, playful philosopher-pornographers like Diderot, transgressor-economist-anthropologists like Bataille and Leiris, eccentric dandies like Huysmans... It's really much more in a French tradition than an English one. Though of course Swift and Sterne loom large... So many heroes!

"Jokes" is a hard word to translate into French. Le Livre des Blagues? Des Plaisanteries? It's up to the translator, really.


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Interstitial stand-up

I have heard more succinct variants of both jokes before but I prefer your versions with their narrative embellishment - I find I like jokes that carry a story with them.
One can get more from a mediocre joke that comes with a good (often superfluous) yarn than a punchy one liner that fire-crackles out of memory.
Your delivery is the antithesis of stand-up convention, you sound halting, hesitant and a little inconfident which actually makes the joke more effective - the stock bombast that most stage comics believe is essential to their trade is actually off-putting.
I actually think you could find quite a niche in stand-up but I would avoid telling the first joke at church benefit gigs....
Thomas S.


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kalafa
kalafa
.,.,.,.,.,
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)

Divine, Momus. From one Nicholas to another. Divine!


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zooportj
zooportj
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)

Oddly this reminds me of Jackanory.

I appreciate that you have to be (a) british and (b) over twenty-five years old to understand.


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
More Please!

Bloody writer's bloody block. Not block, but bloody commitment. As soon as I open that bloody mental zone, bloody spectres appear. Words are darts for cowards. Even your bloody muse, that innocent girl with the good smile, is secretly laughing at you. Your imagination was the curving shadow of your bloody sexual energy, and it drained, bloody quick as a bath. You lack an intrinsic concept of yourself to express. You don't know who you are. Not really. No-one, this time or fucking hence, wants to swim where you do, and the bloody ball is not in your bloody fucking court.


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mattbauman
mattbauman
Matthew j. Bauman
Fri, Jul. 13th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
More, Please!

More BEARD!!!!
grow that thing out Moondog style!


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