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Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 11:53 am
Fly leaf as fig leaf

September is the big American month for our big American books. When I say "our", I mean Tao Lin, Nick Cave and myself, and when I say "books" I mean novels. Cave's sophomore effort The Death of Bunny Munro comes out in the US on the 1st, and on the 15th Tao Lin publishes Shoplifting From American Apparel. The same day, my debut The Book of Jokes comes out.



This morning I received finished copies of The Book of Jokes. My first impression was that they are made of paper, which is odd, because the book was put together on a computer screen, two years ago. Paper doesn't shine as brightly as a computer screen, you have to get used to that. There's a faint scent of paper and ink, of course. The back cover mentions Rabelais, Martial and Boccaccio as my peers and references, which is odd but nice. They're a sexy bunch, and so are Cave and Lin.



Without even bothering to dress, I snapped a couple of pictures of myself proudly holding my novel. I held it like a fig leaf, covering my genitals, because for me culture does that; it covers our genitals, blurs our primal instincts, softens our shove.

So now I have to think about promotion. I'm not nearly as inventive a self-promoter as Tao Lin, who's currently selling his stuff on eBay (including this nice moleskin journal) in a bid to draw attention to a novel about shoplifting he financed innovatively by selling shares (he raised $12,000 by selling six 10% shares at $2000 each).

Nick Cave, meanwhile, is issuing a 7-CD / DVD set of himself reading the whole of his new book. I actually was supposed to shrinkwrap a CD of some sort with the French edition of my novel, but talked the publishers out of it, because I wanted the book to stand on its own as a book, not as a side project from a musician.



Nick Cave has already done a bunch of readings from Bunny Munro, and run excerpts in Vice magazine. Oh, wait, I've also done readings from The Book of Jokes! It's just that they happened so long ago it seems like another era, another life. Two years ago I read this one:



And one year ago I performed an artier reading at Tranzit/Display Gallery in Prague:



On September 17th I'll do a performance reading a bit like the Tranzit/Display one at Staalplaat Working Space in Berlin, too. Still deciding whether to wear clothes or not.

55CommentReply

vikinggreeneyes
vikinggreeneyes
vikinggreeneyeswithgold
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC)

such command of the language does make these so wonderful


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)

I read an extract of Cave's novel and didn't think much of it. But having just watched that youtube of him reciting it, I'd say it much works better as performance than on the page (even if Cave doesn't know how to pronounce skeletal or orgiastic).


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 10:43 am (UTC)

(Great: I criticise Cave's pronunciation after having written "much works better.)


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)

Judging by the number of times you've namechecked Nick Cave on this blog, you obviously have a thing for him. Which is strange, because he's sort of at the antipodes of what you're about. God knows what he'd make of you, but I can guess.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC)

he's sort of at the antipodes of what you're about

You mean he's the Australia to my Europe?

We have a weird parallel history. He started on 4AD Records, so did I. He had an album called Tender Prey, I had one called Tender Pervert. Our names are pretty similar too. We've both lived in Berlin, and are both regularly accused of being "guided by what dangles between our legs". Cave was coaxed into novel-writing by editor Simon Pettifar of Black Spring Press, who also published my lyrics collection Lusts of a Moron at around the same time. And now Nick and I have novels out the same month.

I noticed Nick's literary talents early -- when I heard Peel playing The Friend-Catcher from the Boys Next Door album, in fact. I rushed out and bought the album, and, later, everything by The Birthday Party, and saw them live, and so on. The letter accompanying the first demo we sent to 4AD said "We'd love to be on the same label as The Birthday Party". And we were!

As for Nick Cave's solo career... hmm. I like Your Funeral, My Trial. I liked the Grinderman project. Sometimes he sounds too boring, too adult, too Christian, as if he's trying too hard to fit the Cash / Cohen "classic great songwriting" mold. Plodding piano ballads and so on. His lyrics are still pretty great, though. I didn't read the first novel, it seemed too much like a gush of goth. He's hot and horny, though, and I like that.

A Major News Outlet is preparing a feature comparing Nick's novel with mine and one other published recently by a musician, but I can't say more than that until it's published. These publications don't like you to jump the gun.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)

You're a busy man, I know, but have you ever considered a post about Sparks? Or have I missed it? Why do I think of you and the Mael brothers as kindred spirits?

Owen.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)

Hi Owen! Assuming you're the same Owen.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
Out of Your Brilliant Mind

I was wondering what you make of the works by these less "indie" UK male songwriter contemps. Oh yes and I am one of them!

Martin Fry
Ali Campbell
Roland Orzabal
Nik Kershaw
Nick Heyward
Jim Irvin (Furniture)
Colin Vearncombe (Black)


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Out of Your Brilliant Mind

Ha, I like these games, especially if you're really one of them!

Martin Fry
Hmm. Seems like a nice man, but I don't like the ironic-heroic tone of his breakthrough material, that sort of quoted Ferry-sob, the gold suit, the MONEYLUSTBEAUTYSTAB 80s glitz of it all. I know he probably hated Thatcher, but it all feels (and felt) a bit Thatcherite.

Ali Campbell
Awful, awful, awful. If I hear Red Red Wine one more time, blood will spill. (Hope you're not him!)

Roland Orzabal
Tears For Fears were pretty good. I love the bit in Mad World when there's a sort of gamelan interlude. I also like that Roland was seeking to conduct a sort of public self-psychoanalysis through his songwriting. Their Beatles pastiche Seeds of Love is one of the better ones, up there with ELO's Mr Blue Sky.

Nik Kershaw
He was the white Stevie Wonder before Jamiroquai, wasn't he? There's a bit of a Ford Escort feeling to his work. Clearly talented, but not my cuppa.

Nick Heyward
When my band signed to 4AD, we were split between being The Birthday Party and being Haircut 100. I actually used to get mistaken for Nick Heyward a lot on buses and boats. There was a certain amount of resentment from the Postcard people I hung out with about Nick H and Lloyd Cole making more commercial versions of their sound, but, you know, it happens (it still happens, with Franz Ferdinand and Bricolage and so on).

Jim Irvin (Furniture)
This is you, isn't it? Didn't Furniture have a hit with Driving Away From Home? Wasn't there a member of XTC involved? At one point it seemed like they could have been the British Talking Heads. I quite liked them. Oh, no, fuck, that's It's Immaterial! Okay, this is Furniture:



It is you, isn't it? This is the first time I've heard it! The YouTube vid is glitchy!

Colin Vearncombe (Black)
I probably would've liked to have a hit like Wonderful Life at the time, but now it sounds horrible, cocktail-bar slick, insurance-ad glib. It's almost as annoying as Red, Red Wine.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)

Nick Cave is a posing bore you are not nearly as awful, stop putting yourself down. You forget to mention Nick has always tried so very hard to be Tom waits with pitiful results it has to be said.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)

Well said. But even Tom waits has been leaving me cold since 1982.

Owen.


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tropigalia
tropigalia
Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)

you are just trying to make momus_lolz explode, aren't you


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microworlds
microworlds
Sparkachu Maelworth
Tue, Aug. 25th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)

I KNOW RIGHT

BUT I WILL NOT SATISFY HIM BY POSTING IN THERE ABOUT ELEPHANT PENISES


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
you're right--culture serves the status quo

"I held it like a fig leaf, covering my genitals, because for me culture does that; it covers our genitals, blurs our primal instincts, softens our shove." --momus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYB0VW5x8fI


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: you're right--culture serves the status quo

"Culture is not your friend. How do we fight back? By creating art." And art isn't culture?


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qscrisp
qscrisp
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Don't let Dedalus die

I meant to post this on the previous entry about books. It's just because I hope that people who are interested in books will also be interested in keeping an independent publisher alive:

http://www.dedalusbooks.com/savededalus.html

Such people are rare enough (those interested in books and independent publishers), so I thought it appropriate to mention the latter where the former are likely to be reading.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)

How is your novel American? Was it written in America?

Also, can I get your novel(s) in any physical store?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)

No, it was commissioned by a French publisher originally (La Volte). It's only "American" in the sense that it will first come out in the US. Actually, it's part of Dalkey's British Literature series, which is a bit ironic, because no British publisher was prepared to take it on.

Dalkey's distributor in North America is Norton, who get their books in most physical bookstores. So come mid-September it should indeed be physically available quite widely in the US.


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mildsevens
mildsevens
trouble everyday
Mon, Aug. 24th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)

hearing Nick Cave perform the chapter is a lot more effective than reading it...I was mulling over whether to purchase the book or not, but I think i'm springing for the CD set after hearing that clip. Very cool. Very curious about the Tao Lin book...


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Aug. 25th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
is it that bad to copy (and self promote)?



this is the lunatic trying to be early momus whilst simultaneously being repelled by his own copyist persuasions.a walking paradox....but never say retro..he only uses the tools at his disposal


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microworlds
microworlds
Sparkachu Maelworth
Tue, Aug. 25th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)

I MET NICK CAVE IN HOLLYWOOD ONCE, HE WAS STAYING IN THE SAME HOTEL AS ME. HERE IS THE STORY I GUESS
http://community.livejournal.com/postpunklolz/17700.html

IT'S PRETTY ENTERTAINING I THINK. MOMUS, WOULD YOU HAVE THE SAME REACTION OR WOULD YOU BE LIKE "LOLWUT" AND ACTUALLY JUST STICK AROUND THE CRAZY WOMAN


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Aug. 25th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)

that is a very well read orangutan, must be an expensive breed to home one with such a hunger in progressive comedy lit.
-John flesh


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faunflynn
faunflynn
Tue, Aug. 25th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Your Tomb

I'm glad you felt the need to pose nude with your book.
I know I would.
I shall almost certainly buy it, for all the wrong reasons alas
But that's just me.
Well done, I'm sure it really is very interesting.
But then you are one of my heros. ( No irony, I mean it. )


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