Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The serendipity of Indian summer

I don’t think that many people here in Queensland know the term “Indian summer.” It means that unexpected return to summer that occurs in autumn. Actually I realise that it might not be an appropriate description of our current weather because my OED defines it as “unusually dry warm weather” occurring in late autumn. We have the unusual warmth but also unusual rain. Today though is perfect – late afternoon warm sunshine and a cool breeze reminding me why exactly a person chooses to live in Queensland.

In the same vein of serendipity, I’ve recently found any number of lost items by the simple expedient of cleaning my desk and the immediately surrounding floorspace. Yes, I am expecting my parents to visit and they are the only people who audibly, volubly, profusely comment on my chaos. I believe it’s one of the prerogatives of parenthood: frank assessment of one's children well into adulthood.

I found a piece of op-art from the New York Times dated February 2006, from right around the time of all the fuss about James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces”, which if you remember was the memoir that was less-memory and more fiction. I’ve culled a few gems from it for your delectation. The piece was by Barbara Glauber, entitled “Judge a Book by Its Cover” and suggested some warning labels that could be placed on non-fiction books.

99% Fact-Free

The sequel will be fact-checked.

Fortified with white lies.

An independent analysis found only 23 pages with fabrications.

All dialogue kinda verbatim.

Our pledge: All fabrications caught by the 18th printing.

Author’s britches barely ablaze.

Some persons thanked on the acknowledgements page were no use to the author.

And my favourite:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I moved three months ago, and now I can't find my curtains.

I mean, I have curtains on my windows, but I have other, lighter, curtains that I'd like to put up for the summer.

Spent an hour a few weeks ago looking for them. I now think I know where they are, but I haven't yet checked.

If they're not there, well, where could they be? The apartment ain't that big. . . .