Posts Tagged 'generation x'

Wrapped Up In Books

“I will say a prayer, just while you are sitting there.
I will wrap my hands around you.
I know it will be fine.
We’ve got a fantasy affair.
We didn’t get wet, we didn’t dare.
Our aspirations, are wrapped up in books.
Our inclinations are hidden in looks”.

From “Wrapped Up In Books” by Belle And Sebastian.

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We had a rare chance to enjoy a night wandering our city as summer waned to an end and the festival reached its climax the other week.  I felt strangely sussed and bookish as we trod through the marquees that housed the International Book Festival and which inhabited Charlotte Square, a green space in Edinburgh’s West End usually gated and locked off to the city’s residents.

We managed to catch my favourite author, Douglas Coupland, do a reading from his new novel “Generation A”.  The crowd were eating out of his hands even though we discovered he was pretty hopeless at reading his own prose and several of his opening jokes died completely. 

The Q and A session was wonderful.  He came over as warmer than I imagined from his type-casting of himself in J-Pod.  His mind wandered as he talked of our unique point in history, listening to an author who made his name with “Generation X” in 1991 and was now reading from an old form of media (a book) in a world where a largely collapsed bank was providing corporate sponsorship to an event where everyone was familiar with technology that had contributed to it’s downfall – at a point in time where everything was up for grabs.  He had such insight and wonderment of the near future and the role of advancing technology and its effect upon the human condition.

As social networking is often portrayed as enabling us to present an improved version of our virtual selves and to be insular and have less social-interaction, his new novel reverts to the idea of people telling stories to make sense of their place in the world.  Isn’t that what we have all loved and learned from throughout history? – Stories?

As for the greatest story ever told, Coupland mused about his own family’s involvement in fundamentalist Christianity in previous generations and his own parent’s desire not to impose that upon their three sons.  And, yet, Douglas said that he always had a sense of curiosity about such things and whilst he couldn’t picture God, he believed in the idea…

It was a fascinating night with someone who would now definitely be at my fantasy dinner party.

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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