Among the few accomplished people I venerate is Julie Burchill and I shall be reviewing her latest work Made In Brighton very shortly. On this occasion I shall pay her the compliment of reading it cover-to-cover, but I don’t always recommend over-familiarity with a work under review. Too often I have found that an intuitive response based on prejudice or just a gut feeling to the book cover is superior to the actual dispiriting grunt work of grazing one’s way through the chaos of other people’s prose styles. The true import of a book maybe obscured by micro-involvement when what’s required is a nice big macro sweep of inspired clairvoyance. Not so with The Burch. She’s the p(r)ose poet of journalism and I shall repeat this phrase during my review (or “review” ), depending on whether she’s maintained her usual supra-standards now that she’s found herself a co-writer (her husband Daniel Raven). (I suspect she has).
Julie gave a great interview yesterday to the Evening Standard. I didn’t know she has gout. But the portrait suggests she has recovered her natal pulchritude and perhaps this is attributable either to the elixir of persistent Class A drugs consumption and/or the adoption of God. She relates that another journo interviewed her recently and they started out OK on Diet Coke but ended up taking some powder and puking in the street. My spies tell me that the hack in question was from the Telegraph, so that should be a most amusing piece. I must say the Telegraph is looking up these days since it dumped almost everyone.
Madame Arcati had asked Julie for an interview but made the error of using the word “séance” instead; as in, “Would you like to have a séance with me?” It was meant in the French sense of a “session”, but I think perhaps Julie interpreted the word in its British sense and thought I intended to go into a trance state and bring forth dead aunts and the late Tony Parsons with whom to communicate. “Séance” in this context was intended as a play on words, given the Spiritualist provenance of my name. So she declined, having said she would do it last year! I am assuming that her revived Protestantism shook at such a prospect, the Witch of Endor having set a contra-precedent. I can live with that. I’m not bitter.
I look forward to the Diana musical she’s planning, this could be the immortalising of her. I only ask that she resists the talents of Andrew Lloyd Webber or his sidekick Ben Elton. And I like her quote in the interview: “Maybe I’ve been too smug to do anything great, but I wouldn’t swap my life and my low level of achievement, if that’s what it is, for a life lived in misery and self-contemplation. I’d end up lonely with a great novel. I’d rather be a game old bird on a spree.”