Friday, May 26, 2006

Pointless Time Regained - part one

The first in a series of posts about digging through old boxes and bags and finding forgotten "treasures".

I’ve never been an avid reader of Granta, even though I respect the publication because:

They published Martin Amis (London Fields, I think) chapter by chapter just like books used to be serialized in the old Victorian era.

Their small press published Salman Rushdie’s wonderful book Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which should be of interest to anyone who claims to be a Harry Potter fan or an admirer of the 1001 Nights.

The editor, Bill Bruford, wrote Among the Thugs, a great read for those interested in football (a.k.a. soccer, not the latent homosexual sport played by Americans) hooligans, riots, racism and the sucking of a cop’s eyeball out of his damn socket.

For these reasons and more I offer my respect and place them higher in the echelon of literary rags then the all-sizzle-no-steak McSweeneys. But I found a piece of ephemera the other day that reminded me of the real reason why Granta is my favorite literary rag.

I first saw “The Family” issue at the bookshop where I worked, drank and found a million other gems, many of which still sit on my shelves. Granta liked unifying themes. For the family issue, chock full of the typical and atypical O’Neil and Chekhov-style dramas, the genius editors decided to advertise the issue with four simple words on the cover:

They Fuck You Up.

I remember buying this the weekend before Thanksgiving, and deciding that Granta was right and that I would skip the holidays. Now that Memorial Day is upon us, I almost relived my past rebellion by staying home and reading, but hell, I've grown. I'm off to go get fucked up family style. Have a nice weekend eating processed meats and inhaling propane.