GROVER SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO ME
Ted Kulczycky is our Type Reader for October
Ted is our honorary Type employee. He's carried boxes, ran sound systems, and wheeled displays around for so many events we've lost count. This month, he is organizing an event of his own, a Twin Peaks Fan Night to celebrate Mark Frost's new book: The Secret History of Twin Peaks.
TED ANSWERS THE TYPE QUESTIONNAIRE
The Monster At The End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smolling. As a kid, I loved that Grover was speaking directly to me. And he reacted to my actions! He literally used every tool in his arsenal to try to stop me from turning the pages. I understood that he really wasn’t in the book, but it made me feel involved in some sort of imagination conspiracy with the author, the illustrator and the character. I sometimes think that most American fiction writers that came of age in the eighties and nineties have been trying to rewrite this book one way or another.
What is your favorite virtue in a book?
I like when rich, complex and confusing thoughts are expressed in simple and precise language.
What character (real or fictional) do you dislike the most?
Real or fictional? You kind of have to go with Hitler, right? Doesn’t everyone say that? Fictional? I've always been underwhelmed by Hamlet as a protagonist. He loses me with all that fretting and I stop sympathizing. Probably says more about me than Hamlet or Shakespeare.
If you were to write a non-fiction book, what would it be about?
Concert films. Possibly when I’m really old I’d like to give that Philosophy degree some exercise.
Your favourite prose authors?
Ivor Montagu translated Vsevolod Pudovkin's Film Technique and Film Acting. I read no Russian, so I'm uncertain which one of them deserves the credit. This book perfectly exemplifies the thing about rich thoughts in plain language.
Your favourite poets?
I'm embarassed to admit that I read no poetry. Do song lyrics count? Ummm. James Lindsay!
Has a design or art book ever had an impact on your life?
As long as I can remember I've been amused by accidental faces in my visual world, like the electrical outlet and so forth. There's a photography book called END COMMERCIAL that begins by finding accidental alphabets in the visual landscape and works up to accidental words, phrases and concepts. I'm now always on the lookout for examples, but I'm not clever enough to find many.
Do you read on public transportation?
Yes. But I seem to be going a little cross-eyed in middle-age, and my double-vision isn’t so co-operative when reading on streetcars. I’ve really been planning to switch to audiobooks when on-the-go but I haven’t yet made that leap.
What qualities do you want in a book you’re read while traveling?
Books that "you can't put down" never really work on the road. So I usually end up lugging around longer historical works that rely less on momentum.
What book have you never read but have always meant to?
Ugh. Finnegans Wake. I read articles about it. I hear people talking about it. I think “this sounds like the best book ever.” And then I get twenty pages in and watch it swiftly descend to the bottom of the “currently reading” pile. I still kind of hope that it will one day migrate to the “big books I’ve read” shelf.
What book do you pretend to have read, but in fact have not?
It’s been a long time since I’ve pretended to have read a book. When I was flirting with a career in academia, my specialty was film and philosophy. For some reason at the time, that meant I was supposed to be discussing politics and psychology (which is part of why I got out of there). I guarantee you that I’ve read none of Lacan’s or Fanon’s primary texts, but I could win an argument about them at a faculty luncheon. These days, my literary crimes tend more towards plagiarization of my own work than exaggeration of my bibliophilic conquests.
If you could force a single celebrity to read a specific book in it’s entirety, who would you chose, and what book would you make them read?
Right now, I’m tempted to say the Republican Presidential candidate and ANY book.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
The imported extended version of Mark Lewisohn's Tune In. Its 1728 pages are merely the first volume of this three-part definitive Beatles biography.
I also just started the latest from ECW Pop Classics In My Humble Opinion: My So-Called Life by Saroya Roberts. I'm only on the first chapter but its already said some interesting stuff about narration on television. The rest of the pile is filled out with urban studies, American history and more pop culture. And Finnegans Wake.