John Langan: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

September 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Bury Me With This Book 

The twenty-ninth Bury Me With features an author who has risen up the ranks of ghosty story-telling this last couple of years, John Langan

200px-IronweedNovel“Buried in Albany. How appropriate that the book I’d like to have tucked inside my coffin with me begins with a ride in the back of a truck into a cemetery. William Kennedy’s Ironweed (1983) starts with its protagonist, Francis Phelan, shoveling dirt in St. Agnes Cemetery, outside Albany, NY, to pay off a debt. As Kennedy presents it, the cemetery is a place whose residents are aware of their visitors and can communicate with them silently; it’s a secular version of Dante (a quote from whose Purgatorio opens the novel). At the cemetery, Francis finds the grave of his infant son, Gerald, whose death he caused when he dropped the boy. Shame and guilt caused Francis to flee his action and his family, and he’s spent the decades since Gerald’s death as a wanderer, hopping trains, working odd jobs here and there, inevitably circling back to Albany before once more bolting from the site of his great failure. In front of Gerald’s grave, Francis begins to face up to his past, and his dead son places an obligation on him:  to return home to the family he abandoned.

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DF Lewis: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

September 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Bury Me With This Book, Interviews 

The twenty eight episode of the Bury Me With… series features a pure one-of-a-kind, DF Lewis, the man behind Nemonymous magazine, innumerable short stories, a collection or two, and his wonderful ‘real-time reviews’ of genre titles.

proustMarcel Proust:  À la recherche du temps perdu or as it is often translated into English: In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past. I prefer the former translated title as it fits into my life-long interest in ‘retrocausality’, an interest that seems to radiate backwards: making me feel as if I have been  interested in ‘retrocausality’ all my life!

It is a massive novel in seven volumes:  written between 1909 and 1922 (I think) although I’m not into literary history so much as literary criticism from an objective consideration of the text compared to what lies behind the text (Cf: Nemonymity and ‘The Intentional Fallacy’).  Indeed, the novel lends itself to that ‘purist’ preoccupation of mine, despite it being called ‘semi-autographical’ by some, mainly because the Narrator is known as ‘Marcel’. Read more

Joel Lane: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Bury Me With This Book, Interviews 

The twenty-seventh Bury Me With… and this week it’s Midlands-master of dark subtlety and strange suggestion, Joel Lane, with a choice that is also close to my own heart…

October_country_first“The book I would like to be buried with is… Ray Bradbury’s The October Country, in any hardback edition that has the original Mugnaini illustrations. For three reasons. Firstly, it sums up for me better than any other book what the supernatural horror genre is about and why it matters. Secondly, it’s the ideal companion for a journey through the land of the dead, as if effectively maps out the territory and lets you know where the best roadside inns are. Thirdly, the ins and outs of how it evolved from Dark Carnival is all that the dead ever talk about. I know, I’ve heard them. But I wouldn’t want to be buried with Dark Carnival because there was no complete mass-market edition, and I wouldn’t want to deprive any living fan of the chance of finding that copy. Hell hath, quite literally, no fury like a thwarted Bradbury fan.”


Joel LaneAbout Joel Lane:

Joel is twice winner of a British Fantasy Award, and the Eric Gregory award for his poetry. He is the author of two novels:  From Blue to Black (2000)and The Blue Mask (2003). He has also written munerous short stories, predominantly appearing in TTA Press’ Crimewave and Black Static titles, some of them reprinted in his collections Earth Wire and Other Stories (1994), The Lost District (2006), and most recently, The Terrible Changes (2010). His novella, The Witnesses Are Gone, was published by PS Publishing in 2009. He has published two poetry collections: The Edge of the Screen (1999), and Trouble in the Heartland (2005), with the third, The Autumn Myth, forthcoming in December. He is also an editor, having worked on numerous anthologies including the (in my humble opinion) legendary Beneath the Ground (2002), Birmingham Noir (with Steve Bishop in 2002), and the latest Gray Friar Press anthology, Never Again (co-edited with Alysson Bird) which is launched at Fantasycon 2010.

Rhys Hughes: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

September 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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The twenty-sixth Bury Me With… features Welsh scribe Rhy Hughes, who,  (I promise),  does eventually decide which book to take with him to the grave. And what a choice it eventually proves to be…

engelbrecht2“I have considered this question quite a lot and deemed it probable I would try to come up with a “clever” answer not strictly in keeping with the spirit of the exercise. For instance I thought about insisting on cremation rather than burial and that my funeral pyre should be fuelled with books I don’t like, works by Jane Austen, Henry James and Ian Fleming, among others.

But that is too glib an answer, so my second idea was to insist on a mausoleum rather than a simple grave, a monumental tomb that would contain enough room to house the 44 volumes (deluxe price $3000) of the Vance Integral Edition – every work of fiction ever published by Jack Vance. My corpse could then recline among them like a bloated and stinking bookmark, leaking the occasional stream of purple fluid like a ribbon. Read more

Quentin S. Crisp: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

August 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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The twenty-fifth entry in the Bury Me series features a writer recently returned to the county of his birth, Devon-based Quentin S. Crisp. An author who is, in Mark Samuels’ opinion, “the most important writer of his generation.”

Kafu walking“There are two choices here, essentially because this article serves as a kind of recommendation (and primarily, I suppose, for those reading in English) and my chosen author, Nagai Kafū, is Japanese. Therefore, I’ll have to select one translated volume, and one volume in the original.

On the website Goodreads, I notice that my influences are listed simply as, ‘Nagai Kafū’. His name standing alone like that makes it seem as if he is actually my greatest influence as a writer, and at first I wondered if this might be misleading. I suppose it is, to an extent, but perhaps not such a great extent as I first thought. It does seem curious, though, that Kafū has come to assume such great significance for me.

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