November 3rd, 2005


By popular demand...

First, the Martin interview
Collapse )

And then a biography of Anthony Burgess
Collapse )

I met Burgess when I did an After Dark with him and Andrea Dworkin, and it remains worth saying that he was so dreadful that Dworkin and I formed an alliance against him...

Too good not to be true

Just as I was getting ready to go out, my sweetie rang me with hot goss.
Apparently, Rebecca Wade, editor of the Sun, has been arrested for domestic violence after police were called to her house. She had got drunk while commiserating with David Blunkett. Her husband is, of course, Ross Kemp, well-known television hard man, currently playing Grant Mitchell on EastEnders.

Truely, they all think they can get away with the stuff they condemn us for.

According to Pop Bitch, she may have stabbed him and there was a third party involved, gender unstated.

Some lapse of time

A couple of weeks ago, I read reviews in various places of a new book about the African ancestor of the Russian poet Pushkin; Hannibal, or Gannibal as he is of course known in Russia, because of the speech impediment that is so more rarely used than the Chinese one, was sold as a slave, and ended up as a general and confidant to Peter the Great. One of the reviews also reviewed an 'in the steps of Gannibal' travel book by a woman who, it appeared, had written kid's books about him.

And I recognized her name - Frances Somers Cocks. In 1971 or so, she was the kid sister of the house mate of a couple of friends of mine, one of them now a household name, and the other not. I have bumped into Libby on occasion, had seen Anna Somers Cocks a few times in the seventies and had not thought of Frances in probably thirty years.

Then this evening, I went to a party - academic anthology launch with various friends in attendance. And a small middle-aged woman said 'Are you Roz Kaveney?' and I said 'Hallo Frances'. Because she had come to mind a few days earlier and somehow my mind did the trick of adding thirty years or so.

We had a perfectly pleasant chat and discussed people one or other of us had not seen in almost as long as each other. But it was very very strange - the sort of thing that happens in English novels.

I guess that means that, for all my pop-counter-cultural pretensions, the novel I am in is something like Anthony Powell.


One of my other friends has got to discuss Pete Doherty tomorrow. I disappointed her hugely by not knowing any more about him than she did and having not even heard the new album, which she loathed. 'Oh,' I said,' I'll ask in LJ'. 'What's LJ?' she said. 'Don't ask', I said.

So, any thoughts about Pete Doherty anyone?