One Year Down


There were — are — some things I definitely plan(ned) to post up here to mark the one-year anniversary of this blog (born November 19, 2006). But, alas, as they are all still in “progress,” this will have to do for the moment. And actually, I think it does quite nicely. A declaration of love undying from a Devastationalist Ur-text, Max Beerbohm’s side-splitting, heart-broke and weirdly beautiful little book, Zuleika Dobson:

“My heart is no tablet of mere wax, from which an instant’s heat can dissolve whatever imprint it may bear, leaving it blank and soft for another impress, and another and another. My heart is a bright hard gem, proof against any die. Came Cupid, with one of his arrow-points for graver, and what he cut on the gem’s surface can never be effaced. There, deeply and forever, your image is intagliated. No years, nor fire, nor cataclysm of total Nature, can efface from that great gem your image.”

And an anniversary song, too, why not? The All Girl Band live, drunkenly defying traditional gender roles! Take that, America!

I Want That Man (Tom Bailey/Alannah Currie)

2 Replies to “One Year Down”

  1. Lovely! I had to Google the title to recall who actually recorded that…

    As for Zuleika: I was blown away by that weird little book. I discovered it as I was doggedly making my way through the Modern Library 100 Best Novels list, soon after the list was published. And, no, I didn’t finish the list…

  2. It’s a good song, innit? Who’da thunk it, given the source?
    I learned it from a cassette mix of solo Debbie Harry my friend John Vallely’s little sister Madeline gave me.

    As for Zuleika, yeah, utterly brilliant and uncategorizable. I first heard about it a few years ago, randomly re-reading Susan Sontag’s famous essay “On Camp” from an ancient and disintegrating paperback in a spare bedroom at my mom’s house one night when I was drunk and couldn’t sleep. I had never heard of “Zuleika Dobson” before, but I was entirely beguiled by the name and tracked it down as soon as I was back in the city. “Weird little book” is a good way of putting it. I hope you read an edition with Max’s illustrations. (And I forgot it was on that Top 100 list! How far’d you get?)

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