Sunday, June 22, 2008


Who Would Choose to Chew Shoe Cheese?

The creation of new tongue-twisters is very cheap entertainment. Lack of money is urging Adele and myself to take such desperate measures. We do other things as well, though. We camped on Oxwich again, wading out to sea to pass the headland that separates that beach from Three Cliffs Bay. Before choosing our site, we went into the nearby woods to search for firewood. By the time we emerged it was dusk and we found ourselves in a marsh in the company of spooky will-o'-the-wisps. I don't believe in supernatural beings; but they do exist. Adele is more sensitive to paranormal phenomena than I am. But the night passed without undue hassle from ghosts of any kind and we woke to a glorious sunrise and the gentle pounding of the surf.

The following week I fell ill, maybe as a result from swimming in the sea (no beach in the world is really clean anymore) and my fever and muscle aches lingered until this morning. But I can't complain. My book, The Postmodern Mariner, has just been published. Steve Upham gave me ten complimentary copies yesterday when I met him at the 'Space, Time, Machine, Monster' conference at the University of Glamorgan. In a previous post I gave the date of that conference as July 21. I was wrong by exactly one month: the real date was midsummer's day! I delivered a lecture on OuLiPo that was well received, although one person afterwards told me that my shirt was too 'distracting'. Courtesy of my publisher, the above photo shows me signing copies of my book in that particular shirt.

Hey Rhys,

Yes your OuLiPo lecture was both entertaining and enlightening. However, the restraints imposed by Perec's method of writing a 300 page novel without an 'e' in it for example seems to me to make writing an even harder task than I already find it! Perhaps on a smaller scale (in poetry as you mentioned) then yes, that seems achievable as there are already restraints inbuilt so you just have to work in another.

BTW, had a migraine on the way home, now I'm not saying it was the shirt, but...


A couple of other distracting (tee)shirts going your way this week or the next, this time the distraction being your own short-short postal-apocalyptic story.

Pedro Marques
It's good to see that THE POSTMODERN MARINER exists! Any idea how long it will be before copies are available for sale anywhere?
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