Friday, July 27, 2007

David's half century

David Lyndon Brown wrote his way into Titus records books by selling a whopping fifty copies of his novel Marked Men at the launch of the book last Thursday night. [Weep into your beers, Taylor and Hamilton - ed]. Here a few photos from the party, along with some quotes my tipsy dictaphone preserved. David:
This is a momentous night for me. It's good to be here at the Alleluya, because this is the place where Olwyn, Richard, myself and others performed as the Poetry Brats in the early '90s. We'd rush down here full of inspiration and energy and vodka. It's good to come full circle. To Victoria University Press I'd like to say: ha ha! Brett Cross:
I'd heard about Marked Men for a long time before I ever got to read it, people I ran into kept recommending this 'fabulous unpublished book' to me, by an author I'd never read, David Brown. The book was supposedly 'quite extreme', extreme enough that the mainstream publishers despite being positive about the writing style were unwilling to take the plunge and actually publish it, it sounded intriguing. I told them to tell David to send it to me, and I was assured he would, it never arrived.

It took close to two years after I'd first heard about Marked Men for it one day to show up in the Titus mailbox, but when it did, and I started reading, I knew that here was a book that needed to be published. A lot of fuss has been made about the extreme scenes in the book, the torture chamber, the violent sex, the brandings, but to me Marked Men is primarily a poetic book, a tragedy, it is about human suffering, need and love. It's one of those books you get involved in publishing for, because you want to see it in the world, so congratulations to David for writing it, for you all for coming to the launch. Skyler:
Twenty dollars a book - it's a steal. Titus offers these sad old unsold copies of the Taylor and Hamilton volumes at desperate discounts, too. No freebies for Bob Orr, no matter how drunk he gets. Michael Steven:
Various are his ways, and infinite is his cunning. Graham Brazier:
I very much regret not getting here earlier, but I had to play a gig downtown. We all need our paydays - we all have habits to satisfy... Richard Taylor:
Why am I here? I'm David's mate. Plus there's not enough beauty in the world. Literature is beautiful. Chess is beautiful. England is not beautiful. England is a cesspool. We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them in the ditches, and all that. Why am I saying this? I've been reading about Scott and Amundsen and the race to the Pole. Scott: toffee nosed brat, though brave. He learned nothing. Amundsen studied. He was a cunning Norwegian bastard. I knew blokes like him in the railways. I'm pleased he made it to the Pole. David Lyndon Brown is the Amundsen of our literature. If he played chess he would be a champion.



Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Scotus - you tower over me in the picture? Is this some conspiracy? I am short but not THAT short.

It was great launch - I have read the book - it is very good... great in in its own way. D L Brown has a massive talent - no doubt. He is a very cunning writer -potetentially as good or better than Sargeson / Stead/ Mansfield / Frame - I dabble. He applies diamond to glass.

9:03 pm  

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