Friday, March 07, 2008


In a quandary over Cliff's tag. Because of baggage restrictions, I only have three books with me, and two of them don't have enough sentences on page 123. There's the Casablancan yellow pages - great cast, crap plot - which would bring us into Auto-collants, or Self-adhesives, so it looks like I'm stuck with book three.
It's called Morocco and is a collection of writings about the country. The quote is from Tangier: A Different Way by Lawdom Vaidon, American freelance journalist and table-tennis champion of northern Morocco for seven consecutive years, and tells of a cosmopolitan part of Tangier called Soco Chico, home to fugitive expatriates of various kinds. The first two sentences are about Bill Burroughs, heroin addict and wealthy grandson of the adding machine tycoon.
"He could produce an excellent curry when he felt like it, and though his quarters usually resembled a sea of books, typing paper, temporarily discarded clothes, syringes, needles and the remains of yesterday's spaghetti, he remained a popular host. The 'different' novel that he was writing was published in 1959 as The Naked Lunch.
Everybody in the Soco was respectful to Paul Lund, a self-styled and proved criminal - he had spent three years in Dartmoor - who was on the run from the English Midlands."
Good book as far as it goes, but one editor, Robert Bidwell, died before publication and the other, his wife Margaret, seems to have lost interest in it and didn't even bother with an index. Surprising, really, in view of the fact that the publishers are the eminent TPP, publishers of such unforgettable works as The French Riviera: A Literary Guide, (ISBN 978-1-84511-455-8).

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