Saturday, July 25, 2009

LiterJerry Matters

I tried to hold it off as long as I could, but it is time to discuss more "Literary Matters," which of course are the worst kind of matters in the world. Everybody hates literary matters! And really, everybody is right. Sometimes I try to liven them up by tossing in some "LiterJerry Matters." Those are literary matters that involve Jerry Lewis. I believe there are a couple of those today. So - although not all of our literary matters are "LiterJerry Matters" - I will emphasize Jerry in the title of this "post" to make it more palatable as we all do our best to get through our five literary matters for today. 1) Sepsey alerted me to an interview that Mike Sacks did with the fancy comic book artist Daniel Clowes. In it, Clowes says of THE KING OF COMEDY: "Jerry Lewis was so amazing in that role: constricted, angry, very close to losing control." (It is also revealed that Clowes, like the "blog," is fascinated by Jimmy Olsen.) I had already read Mr. Sacks's interview with the great cartoonist Roz Chast. Both the Chast and Clowes interviews were conducted for - but not included in - AND HERE'S THE KICKER, a book in which Mr. Sacks talks to several humor writers about their craft. Naturally, I had to buy it to see if there were more Jerry references... and there were! In fact, I learned from AND HERE'S THE KICKER that Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais cite THE KING OF COMEDY as one of the primary inspirations for the humor in the original version of THE OFFICE, which they created. 2) It's a big week for THE KING OF COMEDY. The film, and Jerry's performance in it, is also praised in tomorrow's New York Times. I choose to think of this as a literary matter. A newspaper is sort of literary, right? 3) My new novel (SHUT UP, UGLY) comes out soon. (Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance in it, speaking of Jimmy Olsen.) I won't be visiting too many bookstores because I have an actual job now. But I have added an appearance at Square Books on September 2. Don't worry, I'll remind you closer to the actual time so you can make unalterable plans to be elsewhere. 4) Speaking of myself, remember when I told you that someone made a facebook "fan page" for me? I had nothing to do with it. It's very nice and flattering, and I am grateful. But it is called "Jack Pendarvis is Awesome," which is embarrassing for a number of reasons! I want to emphasize that the sentiment evident in the title couldn't be nicer or more appreciated, but I often worry that someone will think I had something to do with the creation and immodest naming of the page. And just that has happened! McNeil called to ask the very question! McNeil, my oldest friend! McNeil assumed I had named a page after my supposed awesomeness! So I wanted to remind everyone, and McNeil in particular, that as much as I love the idea - and the actuality - of the very flattering page, I did not create or name it, nor did I even know about it until someone told me. Okay! 5) I may have bought the funniest book ever made. It is called TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE, VOL. 1, and was written by Michael Kupperman, whoever he is. All I know is, I cannot open a page and read it - any random page - without laughing aloud. On one such occasion, I laughed until I cried! Literally! So my advice to you is to seek out TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE, VOL. 1, by Michael Kupperman. These have been your "Literary Matters." Goodbye forever.