Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jack O'Connell's Baptism

For several years now my friend the brilliant (yes, brilliant) novelist Jack O'Connell and I have been trading e mails about pulp fiction, Gold Medals, forgotten TV showsand being raised Catholic . Oh--and how the world would be a much better place if it would onlyl do what we tell it to.

Jack's new novel The Resurrectionist has been called brilliant (yes, brilliant) by just about every reviewer and critic lucky enough to have latched on to a copy.

The world knows about his career but how did it begin? What was the inspiration? On Jeff Vandermeer's site Ecstatic Days Jack writes a fine true elegant piece about his literary Baptism.

Here are a few samples:

Jack O’Connell / Resurrectionist Week: O’Connell on His “Baptism”

"It is at this moment, in the waning hours of the fourth grade, that the latest issue of Our Weekly Reader arrives one Friday afternoon. Sr. Mary Charles waits until the end of the day to distribute our copies, which, upon receipt, I discover, contains a book-order supplement. I walk home wondering if the pulpy little supplement might offer another Peanuts or Andy Capp or Wizard of Id cartoon collection. Wondering which paperback will claim my hard-earned 50 cents. But when I enter my bedroom and spread out the supplement on my gunmetal desk, my eyes lock, at once, onto a different offering. And refuse to budge.

"Maybe it’s the cover art—though the reproduction is tiny and printed in black & white. Maybe it’s the thumbnail plot description, which sounds terrifically exciting. Maybe it’s the title itself: Time of the Great Freeze. But in the moment that I fixate on this little novel, I know I need look no further. I have found my selection. In addition, I know I’m done with cartoon books. And beyond this, I understand that I need to memorize the author’s name: Robert Silverberg.

"I fill out the order form. I find two quarters in the desk’s middle drawer and scotch tape them to the form. I place form and taped coins in an envelope and place it, like a holy relic, in the center of my desk. And for the rest of the afternoon and evening, I try to ignore the current of electricity vibrating along my spine."

for the rest go here http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/

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