Sunday, March 26, 2006

Robbie Burns Update

And so we wind down our search for the perfect picture to represent my limping prose. Given the original title, it seemed appropriate to wrap this up when we reached 50 comments. I seem to have gotten off extraordinarily lightly. Among those nominated are…
Michael Portillo
Peter Sellers
Laurence Olivier
Alan Rickman
Richard Clayderman
Rembrandt’s Polish Rider
Samuel Beckett
…and last but not least,
Jonathan Swift

This selection shows a generally flattering bias towards a certain type of sophisticated, slightly old-school Englishman, with a touch of the cad mixed in. I like to think that Beckett and the Polish Rider represent my extensive travels and long residence in many parts of Europe, while Richard Clayderman represents Aunty M’s fag hag tendencies which she should really get therapy for.

After all this, I’m tempted to post an actual pic for comparison, but alas Mrs Terrible has interposed her veto, which is something not to be denied, especially on the day the toddler peed all over the only couch. So instead we’ll have to make do with my favourite author, to whom I am reliably informed I do have a genuine resemblance.

What makes him all the more appropriate is that he is another, like Orwell, who never lived long enough to get “the face he deserved”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the author of “Heart of a Dog”, “The White Guard” and “Master and Margarita"…

...Mikhail Bulgakov.

16 comments:

Desargues said...

We may never be able to judge about the proper proportion between moral desert and your countenance, Ivan, but it's most reassuring to discover you have good taste in literature.

Aunty Marianne said...

I have no idea who he is but I shall go and find out right away after I've done this damn exam.

P.S. Have already started my fag hag treatment. I have a nude picture of the celebrity chef (Ainsley Harriott) on my fridge door. The man has nothing but several large bunches of black grapes to his name.

As a consequence, my mother and I cannot see black grapes in the supermarket without bursting into raucous cackles of laughter. We've been barred from Tesco's.

Desargues said...

And is there also a Stalin whose bemused protection you enjoy, Ivan? The Division VP at the Evil Corporation you currently work for, perhaps? That may explain how you find the time to maintain such a prolific blog. :-)

Ivan the Terrible said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Des - could be you're thinking of Mayakovski, there, as the only grace Bulgakov was offered was to die a natural death rather than be shot in the back of the head. But under Stalin I suppose that did mark him out, a bit like Brian in the Roman Prison. "Die a natural death? You lucky lucky bastard..."

Aunty - seedless, I hope.

Foot Eater said...

I was going to say Bulgakov but then you posted this.

PI said...

Oh Ivan for just a moment I thought it was you and I could be Anna Neagle to your Michael Wilding
- only I can't dance and my singing isn't what it was. What larks we could have had.
I'm not sure I believe foot-eater.

Desargues said...

Some people say Stalin liked "White Guard", and that's why he intervened on Bulgakov's behalf to spare his life. Clearly, that's all you could expect in the way of protection from Djugashvili back in those days. Many people weren't that lucky at all--witness Kaganov, Mikoyan, Beria, or even Trotsky.

But I didn't see the "Diaboliad" among your list of favorite Bulgakoviana.

Foot Eater said...

I wouldn't include Beria in that list, Des. I thought old Joe saved his arse many a time. Hell, the fact that he outlived Stalin says something.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Footie - don't listen to Pi - I believe you.

Pi, I'll hold you to that dance all the same :)

And Des, I liked Diaboliad well enough, but in his short stories he didn't have enough room to explore the humanity of his characters in his particular inimitable fashion. That leaves the slightly sci-fi element to them exposed high and dry and tends to date them. "Heart of a Dog" has aged so well because it was just long enough to allow us to get to know Sharik. Just my opinion, tho'.

As for Kaganov, Mikoyan, Beria, and Trotsky, well I won't rise to that one. I'm sure you feel as I do that Bulgakov was worth a hundred of any one of those wretched apparatchiks...

Desargues said...

You're quite right about Beria, Footsie. It's Yezhov I had in mind. But you know, it's hard to keep an accurate track of these bastards. In a sense, they're all interchangeable. Maybe Stalin SHOULD have killed Beria, after all.

HA HA HA said...

moare chilign news abuot ricarhd caydermen!

Ivan the Terrible said...

Let's give that refugee guy a break. He was North Korean, after all. And Richahd Craydahman does sound slightly better...

xpanxpunkx said...

Have you been spamming me, Ivan? This is the second time in the past couple of days that Bulgakov has shown up in my corner of the internet.

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