J™TCHY Y™ Y™ "You Don’t Know Me, But I’m Your Brother."
Dear Ms. Byatt,
relieved, hoping that Daniel’s solitude presaged a divorce or separation.
My name is Adam. I live in Australia. I have recently started reading your wonderful Quartet series.
I see that is not how things were to be.
I am about to finish Still Life. I have just read the scene in which Stephanie is electrocuted and I am sitting at my kitchen table weeping.
I love Stephanie so much - her intelligence, her generosity, her self-sacrifice. She really has become like a friend or mentor to me through the reading of these books. I will miss her greatly as I continue to read this series.
There was a moment in The Virgin in the Garden when I thought Stephanie would be murdered. When I thought I saw that moment coming I was reluctant to continue reading. It explained why Daniel was by himself in the beginning of the book, but I didn’t want to believe it. When the moment passed and Stephanie was unharmed I was very
Congratulations on writing such compelling, intelligent, thoughtful and inspirational books. I hope this letter finds you, and finds you well. Regards and thanks, Adam Ford
HEADING I SUPPOSE
I’VE BEEN READING this picture book since I was given it at the kindy Christmas party in 1977. I don’t have the copy I had back then - these days I have a copy scored in an op-shop lost to memory, cover split in half and loose from the stapled spine, both halves carefully placed where they used to be held and happily not misplaced so far. Under the picture puffin logo on the front cover is a capital B in biro in a child’s hand, on the frontice in pencil "Brooke" and underneath "brooke" without the capital, just above a crude circle cut into unequal quadrants by a large, rough X whose arms escape the circle’s boundaries and whose vertex sits well away from the circle’s centre, the whole diagram apparently an approximation of a kite, placed as it is at the end of the snaking string that the book’s own illustrator drew a few cm below the book’s title.
C T U J abandons its demeanour, continuing to run rampant across the neighbourhood sky to the amusement and consternation of the neighbours and the kite’s maker until said demeanour affords it the chance to be freed by a passing rosella (oh blessed fate) and transcend the bonds of the tether that held it earthbound so it can fly free with the wind over the blue-tinged mountains, free but never forgetting where it came from and the love and care that sent it soaring into the sky in the first place. I’m tempted to find out more about Ted Greenwood, who wrote and drew this book back in 1970, but wary too that knowing what else he wrote, before and after, might change the way I think about this book of his, this book that I have read to myself and to my children for thirty years now, never able to resist being drawn into those strange illustrations and that mildly eccentric prose, this book that has accompanied me from childhood to adulthood to parenthood without ever diminishing the kind and gentle sense of wonder, ambition, love, despair and hope it engenders in me.
Obstreperous. Family legend has it that my parents chose the book for kindy Santa to give to me because I myself was an obstreperous child and there was presumably some hope of diverting the energy I spent on obstrerperation into a love for vocabulary. But in the book the kite that earns the eponym never I might repair the cover, though.
Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest so long as I live on! I killed you. Haunt me, then! Haunt your murderer! I know that ghosts have wandered on the Earth. Be with me always. Take any form, drive me mad, only do not leave me in this dark alone where I cannot find my jetpack!
Y H C It soared, a jetpack, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver rocket it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, donâ€™t spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessnessness...
BE THE 1ST TO LIKE THIS: DYLAN THOMAS - A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (an occasional series of reclaimed blog posts i’m kinda proud of b/c why the hell not)
Posted on April 15, 2009 by Adam Ford YESTERDAY WE HAD A BARBECUE with friends at the Botanical Gardens in Castlemaine. The old water bubbler drink tap nearby is set on a short, thick, slightly tapered tower of stones that has become a beehive in function as well as shape. We had to keep an eye on the little ones as they stood around it, fascinated by the bees that emerged from within to fly up and drink from the pool of water underneath the tap. At first I thought they were wasps – it’s wasp season, it seems, and it’s rare to go a day without having to shoo one away from myself or the daughters. I’ve been struck by how casual I’ve become when waving away the bright yellow things – there was a time when I was too wary of them to evict them from my personal space with my bare hands, but familiarity has bred at least confidence, if not contempt.
“…books that told me everything about the wasp, except why.”
Last night the eldest had an unsettled sleep, and I found myself at around 3.30am sitting in her playroom as per her tearful request (“sit in the chair!”), flipping through a copy of Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales to pass the time while my presence near her bedroom worked its parental magic and calmed her back to sleep, when I came upon this line about the Useful Presents the Child would receive at Christmas and wished that it was mine with all the jealousy a writer’s mind can muster, which is to say a lot.
The complete story is seemingly all over the internet, in various unspectacular formats, but this is probably the least egregious in terms of design <https://www.poemhunter. com/poem/a-child-s-christmas-in-wales/>. Salon have an audio recording of Thomas himself reading the piece and, let’s face it, if you’ve got the choice between reading the words to yourself or listening to Mister Thomas do it, I know which one I’d choose <http://www.salon.com/2000/12/22/ dylan_thomas/>.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the layers that single line contains since I read it.
I declare after all there is no enjoyment like flying! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a jetpack! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not also an excellent jetpack.
for a while there all I had to do to calm the girls down as we drove to school, no matter how snarky or recalcitrant they were in response to my staccato demands for socks and shoes or tooth cleaning or for them to carry their own damn bags and not expect me to act like some freakin’ beast of burden was put Sheppard’s “Geronimo” on repeat. All argument dropped away as they craned forward to watch themselves sing along in the mirror like it was their own personal karaoke machine. (My favourite bit is where the whole band jumps in on the random “Make! This! Leap!” harmonising that hits on the first half of the third line of verse two and kicks the whole thing into total gospel territory.) I’m sure it’d still work if we tried it, but right now they’re both on a pretty serious Lady Gaga / Katy Perry / Meghan Trainor jag.
Dear Adam Ford Your letter has just arrived, and Dame Antonia read it with much pleasure. It is a wonderful letter, and made her very happy. with all best wishes, Gill G. Marsden secretary to AS Byatt.
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the jetpacks that you’ve had.”
"I DON’T KNOW, IT MIGHT HAVE something to do with how seductive the opportunity to publish a thought instantly on social media is. Ideas or thoughts that I might have teased out and allowed to mature and built upon get spat out as they happen and then once they’re out there they feel complete enough in their own interstitial way. There’s more chance of getting some kind of reaction when you ‘publish’ like that too
- a heart filling with red or an arrow ourobouros lighting up green as opposed to the silence, however earnest, of publication upon paper. But I don’t know - yeah, something feels like it’s lost along the way. And here’s another Gen X-er quietly lamenting what’s lost in the digital landscape. And then cynically reflecting upon it metatextually. How very. "
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C T U J
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She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the jetpacks, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.”
Y H C T
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT UNINTENTIONALLY BLANK
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE DEPT: Fonts used here are Hoefler Text for that excellent old-school Penguin books feel, and Naughties, the official Guru Adrian (remember him?) font (see <www.chank.com> for more). Also Arial and Helvetica. And Futura. Jutchy Ya Ya #49 was cranked out over an embarrassing stretch of time, commenced back in May 2015 and concluded in late March 2017. (I know, right?) taking advantage of a smattering of snatched hours on the train between Castlemaine and Parliament stations. This issue’s cover fop comes from the frontice page of Gulling Sonnets by Sir John Davies, first published c.1600. Although it looks like the image was created for the ebook. Anyway, he’s singing a Doobie Brothers song. Obstreperous, words & illustrations, © E A Greenwood, 1970. Published in 1973 by Picture Puffins. Used without permission. The first to identify all of the jetpack quotes and email <adamatsya@ gmail.com> wins a prize. Postal love can be sent to PO Box 99, Chewton, Vic., Australia, 3451. email love should be sent to email@example.com. You can also go crazy with that internet love and punch <theotheradamford.wordpress.com> into your browsers for more writey webby ziney stuff, including backissues and electronic versions of this hyar zeen. Socially-minded readers might enjoy <twitter.com/adamatsya> or <instagram.com/adamatsya>. Acknowledgement and respect to the Traditional Custodians of the Jaara Jaara and the Wurundjeri peoples, on whose lands this zine was made.
an arrow ourobouros lighting up green
Published on May 5, 2017
Issue 49 of Australian author Adam Ford's irregular 8-page zine. Featuring AS Byatt, Dylan Thomas, pokemon, wasps, jetpacks and kids' books...