Sunday, November 11, 2012
Interview With An Author
I don't ordinarily conduct interviews with authors but found this one in my pajamas this morning. I took it as a positive sign and invited him to coffee on the back porch. He declined a cup of his own and proceeded to drink out of mine, which prompted my first question.
Geo.: Why on earth are you doing that?
Ibid.: Earth, you say. If we expect any sustained happiness on this planet we must learn to make do with a well-used minimum.
Geo.: And your definition of happiness is?
Ibid.: Well, as my book says:
"Why I am laughing:
My hearing's gone,
My nerves are shot,
My bucket is empty
And I hate these sandals.
There are worse definitions
Geo.: An appropriate excerpt.
Ibid.: Not an excerpt. That's the entire text of the book.
Geo.: Oh dear, you've caught me out. I haven't read it.
Ibid.: Now you don't have to. Terrible coffee. I love it.
Geo.: I make it myself. But let's move on to your pseudonym.
Ibid.: What pseudonym?
Geo.: Ibid., an abbreviation of Ibidem, meaning "in the same place". I take it, then, your parents were Latin scholars.
Ibid.: No, auctioneers actually. They named me with their two favorite words, words that promised profit and commission. My grandfather, however, was quite old and Latin was his first language. He lived with us and imparted much in the way of sage advice.
Geo.: Such as?
Ibid.: "Canis reversus ad suum vomitum." After which he would barf and have a good cackle in the chimney corner.
Geo.: Let's talk about the cover photo, shall we?
Ibid.: Yes, the photo was taken in 1972 but my publisher thought I looked a bit young. It was left with a retouching artist who spent the next 40 years aging my image. During this time, I revised the manuscript according to guidelines set out by Henry David Thoreau: "Simplify, simplify, simplify". Of course this invites one to cross out the two superfluous simplifys and just get to it. As a result, my manuscript was pared down from ten volumes to 26 words.
Geo.: And where may we find this book, Ibid?
Ibid.: On the blog, Invalid's Workshop, May 23, 2012.
Geo.: But that's my blog!
Ibid.: Indeed, shall we brush each other's teeth now?