bookmark-dany laferriere and david homel

whose writing is this? (the word is yours)

once again, we find ourselves great-full at bookends. the first night, i capped off an excellent afternoon of a purdy’s ice cream bar with new/old friends and james frey’s appearance in the red chair promoting his final testament with falling into step with dany laferriere just outside the metro, on our way up the stairs to his appearance at the runnymede library. the whole event transported me back to the future in reverse, as i felt like i was in an alternate montreal reality, which i suppose toronto is. i mean, really? folks are going to show up late and panic that a french writer is reading his own book in french?! and then “whisper” frantically about it in the back like lambs led to the rapture? come the fuck on. i was actually more personally delighted, then slighted, at the presence of david homel, whose books i will now strike from my reading list, as the unexpected/unwelcome reading of his own book that night was plenty for me. that being said, i didn’t even finish going south, one of the ones that wasn’t translated by him, so i suppose i like his voice, just not his voice. there’s an art to translation, which one can master in one medium, and completely flub in another. it’s the same thing as a musician that usually solos playing accompaniment, a lead singer having to backs, you gotta check your ego. it’s telling when the author says of your reading “it’s not my book. it’s his book.” for you to be a pissy baby about how “unfair” it is doesn’t make you any more endearing, in fact, it communicates the truth of your inferiority complex. at any rate, i’m glad for the opportunity to see dany the night after at yorkville, where people in attendance actually spoke french, and he was able to be charming and funny and..himself. well, the most of himself that i can only imagine to judge until the day i understand haitian creole. i was going to ask for his autograph, when i noticed that i had already signed for him, as i had already pulled the passages from l’enigme de retour, (which i learned exists in a twice-as-long form in some places because he went back), so he drew pictures next to my scribbles. i know this is like the scene in sitting behind the newspaper photo in barbershop, but i know the truth.

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