Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Ninth Day of the Month..." Albeit Belated...

Unfortunately, I was rendered insensible by debilitating exhaustion and could not finish my blog post from yesterday. In light of the difficulty of recent weeks, I hope my readers will understand and forgive my tardiness. It is, as always, inexcusable, though in this case unavoidable. Here is the post as it was originally intended, as well as additions made today. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I decided, in the spirit of being alive, that I would live this Ninth Day of the Month--as auspicious as it is--before blogging about it. So many awesome things happened today, least of all the event which shaped the course of fiction as we know it: the birth of Mervyn Peake in 1911 (www.mervynpeake.org).

Today on the ninth day of the month, Papouli's Greek Grill of San Antonio, Texas kicked off another fabulous month with the introduction of returning manager and new Operating Leader, Anthony Fafutakis. At a mandatory all-partner meeting (which I did not attend for reasons we shall soon explore) Anthony took the time to introduce himself to his new staff as well as old veterans of the line. Among the many things discussed at the meeting, Anthony mainly wanted to emphasis his goals for the coming months and demonstrate his standards for the restaurant. As my time at Papouli's slowly draws to a close, I hope that the coming months are profitable and exciting.

Also today the Blair side of my family (being my twin's) hosted a three-family garage sale, featuring the fashionable stylings of the McGees and the Balentines. In addition to furniture and video games, which sold early, baby clothes and novels seemed to be the pick of the day. Our combined earnings were somewhere over three hundred dollars, with my meager sixty-five dollars coming in at third place. Of course I had very little to actually sell. However, where I failed is also where I succeeded. I had very little to sell, but I sold most of my stock, meaning there was very little I packed up to give away to Good Will, which is where all of our stuff was going that did not sell at the garage sale. 

I would also like to wish a profound Happy Birthday to my long-time friend and concert buddy Robert McDowell. We were recently reunited as friends on Facebook. Though we don't often get to see each other and our concert outings have been a little sparse since the onerous days of Souper Salad, Robert remains one of my best and closest friends. So Happy Birthday, Bobby, and many happy returns.

There is one birthday today that was marked by more than simply leaving messages on a Facebook wall. The centenary of Mervyn Peake's birth is today in 2011. Born in Kuling China, Mervyn Peake went on to become a world-renouned artist and writer. Several of Peake's major accomplishments include his fellowship in the Royal Society of Literature, his numerous publications, including Gormenghast, his poetry, his artwork, and a short stint as a war artist, when in June of 1945 Peake entered the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where he sketched images of the dying prisoners. Peake was the father of three children: Sebastian, Fabian and Clare. Unfortunately, Peake began showing signs of what we now know was Parkinson's Disease in the sixties, eventually succumbing to the disease in 1968 at a hospice run by  his brother-in-law. Peake's works, especially the Gormenghast novels became more widely known and respected after his death (www.mervynpeake.org/biography.html).

Today Mervyn Peake is still celebrated as one of the greatest practitioners of the grotesque and the macabre. Though he rarely invoked the presence of the supernatural, Peake's works have an air of other-worldliness. Their settings, despite their mundane sources, seemed to inspire--at least in me--the illusion of magic. Peake's influences numbered Dickens and Stephenson, according to novelist and--lately--biographer Michael Moorcock, so it not surprising that many of the traits associated with Peake might be termed "legendary" instead of "fantastic". And speaking of legendary, the anthologized version of The Sunday Books has finally reached my possession. It took an entire week to get this cloth-bound once-in-a-lifetime book, and despite my plans of having the book read and ready to review by Peake's birthday, buying the book on the day of said author's birth--and the centenary at that--came in as a close and not unpleasant second. At last, the heretofore unpublished stories of adventure and swashbuckling can be had, as written by Michael Moorcock, alongside the gorgeous and exuberant illustrations by Mervyn Peake. I can't wait to sample some of the stories and artwork.

Don't worry, you won't have to wait until the next "Ninth Day of the Month" for a review. I will have the book read and reviewed and ready for perusal by the end of the week.

Happy Birthday Mervyn Peake, and as always, Happy Ninth Day of the Month!

1 comment:

  1. That description as 'legendary' rather than 'fantastic' hits the nail on the head - nice one.

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