July 11th, 2007

Ray Bradbury and the Secret Self

Back in 2003 I interviewed Ray Bradbury on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Fahrenheit 451. He has some interesting and provocative things to say about that book and writing in general, so I thought I would post it here for anyone interested. Bradbury's career has been an unusual one in that, unlike such contemporaries as Vonnegut, he made the jump to mainstream credibility without repudiating his genre roots. Bradbury succeeded on his own terms. Significantly, when he received a Pulitzer citation for lifetime achievement in April of this year, it was specifically as a writer of science fiction and fantasy.

Without further ado . . .

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Museums and art

There are very few museums devoted solely to the fantastical. But one such is the Maison d'Ailleurs, in Switzerland.


I've never had the pleasure of visiting it, but I have met its brilliantly creative Director, Patrick Gyger, and trust that the establishment reflects his virtues. Here's a sample of the kind of things that go on there, from the museum's latest newsletter:

Dear friends,

Maison d'Ailleurs invites you, on Monday 16th July 2007, to an evening of extraordinary journeys.

We start with a tour of the "Entropia" exhibition at the museum from 7 pm to 930 pm. Free entry and free drinks!

The exhibition (http://www.ailleurs.ch/uk/expo_d.php?id=ent) follows the life and works of Christian Scheurer, a Swiss artist who has worked on films such as The Fifth Element, Dark City or The Animatrix. His most recent and personal project is the surreal and poetical world of Entropia, inhabited by Queen Pingo, the Marquis de Salade, and the Secret Guild of Croissant Bakers...

At 945 pm, the amazing Japanese animated film "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" (Hayao Miyazaki, 1986, French version) will be shown at the Open Air cinema (in Yvedon-les-Bains, by the lake). 25 free tickets for the film will be available to visitors of the museum on that night from 7 pm.

I hope to see you at this event, and wish you a great Summer.

Add these folks to your dream vacation, I say.

But if you can't move from your desk, why not visit the revamped website of that wild-eyed artist Chris Mars?


Chris tells us:

The new Chris Mars website is live and awaits you. Features include
original soundtrack, larger images, and Chris's three original animated
films "Bard's Moment", "The Severed Stream" and the recently completed
"Second Hand Loppo". Brand new paintings have been posted, too.

A note on viewing films: Files are higher resolution than standard, and
load times vary depending on traffic and equipment. So please be patient
with the video load (especially regarding "The Severed Stream", posted in
its thirteen minute entirety). If you have difficulty immediately please
try again later. A "Q" on screen means the film is loading. Subsequent
load times will be faster than your initial one. Enjoy, and thank you for
your patience!

Paul DiFi, over and out!
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Scrambled authors

Paul DiFi here, stepping in briefly to introduce my pal Phil Stephensen-Payne, noted scholar, who has some literary puzzles for us. I'll let Phil explain further. Take the stage, Phil!

I thought you might enjoy deciphering the author names in Walter Moers' THE CITY OF DREAMING
BOOKS, which I just finished reading. Many are obvious anagrams of
famous authors (and their books), while others seem to be fabricated
for effect, and a large number inbetween could well be either.

So here's the full list and I welcome all and sundry to identify as
many of the anagrammatized authors as possible,

Phil S-P

Dancelot Wordwright - The Joy of Gardening
Doylan Cone - Sir Ginel
Caliban Sycorax - Tiger in my Sock
Drastica Sinops - The Shaven Tongue
Yodler van Hinnen - Hard Beds and Soiled Sheets
Ivan Palisade-Honko - A Village Named Snowflake
Parsifal Gunk - Life is More Terrible Than Death
Semolina Edam - The Ant Drum
Zodiak Glockenspiel - The Glass Guest
Hampo Harribin - The Dog That Only Barked Backwards
Gopak Trembletoes - Lemon Icing
Ogdon Ogdon - Pelican in Pastry
Fantotas Pemm - The Truth Drinker
Kaira Prudel - Forest and Folly
Marduk Bussek - Valley of the Lighthouses
Mantho Snam - Sorcery in the Alps
Aurora Janus
Aleisha Wimpersleake (the undisputed colossus of Zamorian literature)
Sebag Seriosa - The Damp Denizens
Ektro Backwater - Where the Sea Wall Ends
Colophonius Regenschein - The Catacombs of Bookholm
Sarto Iambicus - The Ill-Starred Chamber
Vappid Rhymester - Drunk on Moonlight
Hyldia Playtanner - Blind Flamingo
Hermo Phink - Princess Daintyhoof
Sandro Trockel - The Illiterate series
Monken Maksud - Beacon in the Gloaming
Looba Gordag - How to Foretell the Future by Interpreting Nightmares
Count Klanthu of Kinomaz - Silence of the Sirens
Hethelbem Deroh - Infanticide
Rabocca Orkan - Air Face
Rimidalv Vokoban - Love and the Generation Gap
Goliath Ghork - Thanks But no Thanks
Perla la Gadeon - The Burning of Bookholm
Inka Almira Rierre - Comet Wine
Dolerich Hornfielder
Bethelzia B. Binngrow
Ydro Blorn
Rashid el Clarebeau
Melvin Hermalle
Ugor Vochti - The Midgard Saga
Elo Slooty
Navi Charvongo
Rasco Elwid
Hornac de Bloaze
Gramerta Climelth - Gone with the Tornado
Asdrel Chickens
Daurdry Pilgink
Trebor Snurb
Carmel Stroup
Esphalon Teduda
Ergor Banco - the so-called Doctor Mirabilis
Wamilli Swordthrow
Honj Steak
Auselm T. Edgecroil
Samoth Yarg
Selwi Rollcar
Weddar Rale
Gofid Letterkerl
Lugo Blah - a prominent Zamorian Gagaist
Bamuel Courgette - Screams from a Sarcophagus
Nector Nemu - Clammy Hands
Bronsar Morello - The Cloud Cuckoo
Arlon Dumpsey - Recollections of the Day after Tomorrow
Nestroket Krumpf - A Pig in My Poke
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Porky in Wackyland

I've succeeded in remedying yet another of my cultural gaps by finally watching PORKY IN WACKYLAND, a cartoon once voted among the best of the century. Learn the facts here:



In this seven-minute gem, Porky Pig visits a land inspired by the art of Salvador Dali. Need I say more?

Yes, I DO need to say more. No one, I believe, has yet pointed out that the Do-Do creature in this cartoon seems to have been the inspiration for a similar creature in Jim Woodring's universe:

Now, go watch!


Posted by Paul DiFi