Thursday, September 8, 2016


British spy novelist John
LeCarre has said, : "I am a
liar, born to lying, bred to
it, trained to it by an industry,
that lies for a living. I'm
practiced in it as a novelist,
as a maker of fiction, inventing
versions of myself realer than
the real thing, if it exists."
That was pretty good stuff,
as I read it.  Of course, for
 him it was way more, having
been born as David Cornwall,
using a made-up name, as
LeCarre, having for many
years been Britains's leading
spymaster, etc., etc. How
much more 'authentic' does
falsity have to be? It has
believability, millions and
more have bought his almost
never-ending stream of books
and thrillers. Entertainment,
I guess, but who'd to say;
there are people who lap
this stuff up. He's as real as
HE can be, then, for sure.
Once a spy, always a spy,
divulging secrets. I remember,
about, whenever it was,
2004, reading Bob Dylan's
'Chronicles,' It too was
almost laughable, with
the truth stuff being about
as fuzzy as a lamb. It open
with a scene in midtown,
this skinny 19 year old
Bob Dylan Jewish kid
getting taken to lunch
by some promoter, to
'Jack Dempsey's Saloon'
(still there, on 50th or
something), and the guy
himself (died in 1983, an
old 'Manssas Mauler' boxer),
mistakes the Dylan kid for
a novice boxer, and stupidly
says  -  'you look good kid,
but you gott'a put on a few
pounds'  - (well, I'm here
paraphrasing). It's all
balderdash and endless
horseplay. If Dylan was
a boxer, than I was a
singer. The glimmering
trick here, he's messing with
your mind -   there was a
Jack Dempsey, the boxer,
the Manssasas Mauler, but
the bar now  is called 
'Jack Demsey's', on 33rd.
A little different, and you've
been set up. I don't know
if expected the reader to
stumble, or to know the
difference. The old is old and
the new is new. I remember
over at Barnes & Noble,
they weren't sure whether
to put it in Fiction or in
Bio. I said, 'What's the
difference, and who's to
care?' There's another part
in the book, later on, when he
and one of his wives are down
in New Orleans, in what's
dscribed as some strange
voodoo guy's general store.
He starts talking some real
weird shit to Dylan, about
mystic and cosmic stuff,
and the Dylan character
(that's all it ever was) is
taking it all in. Supposed
to be heavy and deep, but
it's all a crock. Dylan walks
out of there, to move along.
He mentioned his wife, all
this time, was sitting in a
rocker, on the porch there,
reading the latest 'John LeCarre
novel.' Dylan says, as he left,
he'd bought a cap, a hat, that,
on its crown said 'World's
Greatest Grandad.' Funny
stuff; point being who
knows what about anything.
This whole world could
be written as a fiction.
Let's say, in the big leagues  -
when you've got a few books 
published and all, the 'truth'
soon becomes a stretchable
fiction  -  the studio or publishing
backers make up a storyline
for you, they weave a biography
just the other side of curious,
never traceable, ever, to anything.
It whets people's appettites, they
think they're 'insiders' by knowing
certain things. All false. Like
some silly fan-club for 'adults'. 
I don't think there's ever been a
truthful morsel out of Bob Dylan's
mouth. He's just a liar. You can
find him all over online  - in one
cut he's telling Ed Bradley, of CBS,
in all bullshit earnestness, about
how he made, a long time ago, a
deal with the Devil, a real deal, to
get himself to where he is  -  fame
superstardom, the Evil Kingdom.
He reiterates, in all earnest and
smug sincerity. Then, in others, 
he's all over singing Christian 
songs about salvation and Jesus
and how he's personally saved,
and there's even some of him
preaching-talking Jesus-Savior
stuff at concerts. The jerk. Too
stupid to even know the difference.
I don't think both sides of his
mouth have ever met. You can't
believe a word he says. 
I got to thinking about all this as
I write my own stuff here  -  all 
these layered tales and stories 
are all true. Even the most outlandish
of them like that Rarleighbourne guy.
And that ain't the half of it. It'll
all come out. I get to it. I'd never
want anyone to go ahead and
start thinking I was a boxer,
you know, just putting on
a few new pounds. The 
earliest Dylan story, just 
another one that makes me 
gag, is of his earliest, like 
age 9, story of the first time
he sang 'publically.' It was
at some family gathering,
Duluth or Hibbing, some
Jewish holiday confab. His
family puts him up to singing
for the room, cute little tyke 
that he is. He starts singing,
'Accentuate the positive,
eliminate the negative....don't
mess with Mr. In-Between'. 
That old show-tune from 
something way back. And 
then he just stops singing,
refuses to go on, until
he tells the room that he
'won't sing anymore unless 
everyone stops talking and
listens up.' Yeah, OK.
It's the weave, the 'warp and 
the woof' of a life. When I first
ran across those terms I had 
no clue what either warp or 
woof was. Weaving terms, 
totally cool. Like the basic 
directional fabrics, stuff both 
etched/woven and seamed for 
the garment of a being's 'self'. 
Whatever that 'self' is  -  that's
why all these guys go about
making it all up. They're
weaving, like when you're
drunk, and trying to drive 
down the road without 
being a suspect. I suppose.  
It was when I was in Elmira,
working in the print shop, we 
did a newsletter each month for 
some sewing/knitting hobbyist club.
The newsletter itself was called
 'The Selvedge Edge.' I didn't 
understand that either, and 
at first thought it was a simple
 mis-spelling of 'Salvage', like 
cloth you save or something. But 
then I learned, there really is a
 'selvedge edge', and there
really are warps and 
woofs. All amazing,
and all true.

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