To book tickets for this event go to –
A Janey Macken Street Exclusive:
Pre-Event Conceptual Art Happening
Hugging Will Self, fictionally.
The BWG event, Between The Bookcases, in the International Literature Festival Dublin 2017, actually takes place at the same time as Will Self’s event at the Smock Alley Theatre on 24th May 2017 in the same festival.
By a strange coincidence, in 2014, Camillus John, writer and organiser of Ballyfermot Writers Group, had a story published in The Stinging Fly, literary journal, entitled, The Pervert’s Guide to Modern Fiction by Mrs Pimple, in which Morrissey gives Will Self a hug on International Men’s Day. See the particular gobbet from the story in question pasted in below.
As an example of Irish hospitality at its finest, and also as a piece of modern conceptual art, Camillus John will send Will Self a fictional hug from Morrissey on the night of Will’s talk at the festival, by reading the relevant gobbet of prose from his story before BWG’s Between the Bookcases event. He will read this in private with, perhaps, other members of BWG, in Room 3 of the library at 5.55 p.m. Or read it fictionally.
Thus, in this way, Will Self will receive a fictional hug on the night from Morrissey via Ballyfermot Writers’ Group to calm his nerves and welcome him, experimentally, to Ireland (and the festival), before he goes on stage. A piece of conceptual art. A happening. As it were.
However, as the act of hugging is a very private act, people can only attend this pre-event fictionally and cannot attend in person. How? They can do this by reading said gobbet of prose themselves at 5.55 p.m. on the night of the event. In fact, they don’t even need to read it in actuality but can read it fictionally in their minds instead if they wish i.e. pretend they’d read it at 5.55 p.m. on the night of the event. That would do too. The more people that are fictionally doing this at 5.55 p.m. on the night, then the warmer the fictional hug Will Self will receive.
i.e. Ballyfermot Writers Group plan to hug Will Self in fiction through Morrissey at the upcoming International Literature Festival 2017.
This is an attempt to answer the questions; What is fiction? What is reality?
The gobbet of prose in question is as follows.
The Pervert’s Guide to Modern Fiction
By Mrs Pimple
Written By Camillus John
NYE 3 pm: Why did Will Self write Autobiography by Morrissey?
‘The horrors of my private education, Mrs. Pimple, made me feel like running up on stage and hugging. Close, very close. To get some release. The bouncers offered no resistance. I was now up on stage with both arms spread out like aeroplane wings ready to clasp Morrissey to my bosom.
‘The stage lights flashed rainbows as I moved slowly towards him. The instrumental break was fast approaching and I’d use this opportunity to hug and then go; without as much as causing a spilt lyric or a dropped note. That was the plan. Then I’d melt right back into his audience Mrs. Pimple. That was the complete plan. Full stop.
‘I reached the singer and went in for the two second hug. And was hugged back. But pop went the weasel in both my arms at that point. Crackety-crack. We locked in spasm. I couldn’t untangle, rigidly enclosing the singer who tried to finish the song as best he could, deep now in my awkward embrace.
‘The bouncers came flooding but the singer stopped them. He understood that this was an osteopathic mishap. Perhaps more. The singer and I exchanged words as the band played on in the background and the stage lights wrote fiction in colour on our faces.
‘This was the last song in the encore, so it mattered little in the great scheme of things; everyone had already received their evening’s worth. Perhaps more. The band stopped and the audience stood in silence watching, aching, unable to leave. All I had to do was wait. It would unravel itself, this most un-Gordian of knots.
‘Five minutes in, and still our hug held sway, alongside the audience’s silent participation, when up piped Morrissey:
‘Only an Irish singer-songwriter can save us now!’
‘With that, Damien Dempsey sprang up from stage left like popping toast with a tuned-up guitar primed and ready to go off. He sang about not letting all those negative vibes and comments get in on top of you and doing damage.
‘Everything loosened Mrs. Pimple. Everything released. I wrote Autobiography by Morrissey, written by Will Self, right there on stage. It was quite charming. And liberating. The first men’s liberation day proper in my book.’