CATENGESP


LIT UP

(06/03/2008)

Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès

On the emergence of a new literary genre based on booze.

CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE NINETY

Years and years ago, Jan Vardoen (any, if there are any, fanatical followers of this column will remember him from a piece published in March of 2006, as the chef turned printer turned boat-builder turned cocktail barman turned major Norwegian singer-songwriter) told me about an author called Jeffrey Bernard, described by Jan as the English Charles Bukowski.
Los Angeles-born Bukowski (1920-1994) dedicated king-sized chunks of his mainly autobiographical prose to the drawbacks and blessings of being a full-time alcoholic. Booze, in all its motley forms, gatecrashes the action of his novels so often you could be forgiven for thinking it was the star guest. Jeffrey Bernard, who I read only recently, is uncannily similar in both style and content: short, careful sentences not unlike those of a lush trying to cover up a slur, and an ironic insistence on the author's penchant for spirit-fuelled self-destruction. It struck me that maybe these two writers had unwittingly started a new genre: Alco Lit, meaning not books written by writers who happen to be alcoholics - in that case, it'd be the largest literary genre in the world - but narratives in which the hard stuff is an essential ingredient. I mention all this partly because a handful of people - that is to say, all of my readers - have pointed out that alcohol features prominently (excessively, even) in my own books. I for one, though, am positive that I don't deserve to join the ranks formed by Bernard and Bukowski. For one thing, I never write when drunk. Although, now I think about it, I often do write with a hangover the size of a haystack. As may or may not be noticeable in the article you've just read.


- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -