Thursday, 31 May 2012

Fame - Half Price!

What is the deal with having such soft feet? I wore some man-sandals when it was unseasonably hot out five days ago, walked a couple of hours total and the left one tore an absolute lesion in the top of my foot which didn't stop bleeding until yesterday, responded neither to bandages nor plasters, kept me awake at night by actually throbbing like, I don't know, a gunshot wound, and has left me walking around shoe and sockless with one trouser leg rolled up waiting for it to even start to heal. This is completely out of proportion when I only wore the sandals on a whim. I've written to my MP.

Anyway, this (left) is currently making me very happy: it is a fictionalised mention in Mark Haddon's new novel, The Red House. It is on p. 138 and the paragraph in question concerns a character who doesn't like contemporary poetry, especially free verse. She picks a book off the shelf at random and it is translated by me, which is not something I know how to do in real life - I'm generally too busy looking for my own name in print to master a second language - but it's pretty cool nonetheless. It could, of course, be the promising young Ohio basketball player Luke Kennard whose impending success I'm still trying to work out how to capitalise on. I had been planning to pick up The Red House anyway after reading a couple of reviews, but one of my MA students mentioned my mention to me so I ran straight to the campus bookshop to pick it up. The whole thing reminded me of my favourite scene in Martin Amis's The Information when Richard Tull anonymously sends Glyn Barrie a copy of the LA Times with a post-it attached reading "Glyn, something to interest you here - the price of fame?", knowing that Glyn will have to spend days sifting through the entire paper and all its supplements looking for his own name. (In a Road Runner / Wile E Coyote type twist, Glyn later tells Richard that he found the relevant mention within a few minutes).

Surely, surely this counts as some kind of Impact or Knowledge Transfer in the upcoming REF? Next week I am hoping to somehow turn up dead in a posthumous Roberto Bolano. He's the Tupac of contemporary literature in translation.