Sunday, May 20, 2007

Alcofribas Nasier

Wandering around Wikipedia yesterday I made the serendipitous discovery that when Fran├žois Rabelais published his first book Pantagruel in 1532, he used the pseudonym Alcofribas Nasier (an anagram of his name minus - attention pedants - the cedilla on the c).

I am honoured to accept this precedent on behalf of A Welsh Born Icon (Nicholas Browne), The Profit Burglar (Paul Robert Fright) and the New Ninja Bomber (Benjamin Browne).

Rabelais has a place on my notional, inchoate, amorphous to-do list. Who can fail to be drawn to works in which "long lists of vulgar insults fill several chapters"? But in truth my knowledge is limited to what I gleaned from Roberstson Davies' wonderful 'The Rebel Angels'; which is drenched in references.

I learned of Davies from Anthony Burgess' invaluable 99 Novels. Perhaps I should set The Rebel Angels for the El Grupo after next? I still think often of the Parlabane Bounty, specifically the following mental image, conjured frequently to help me me smile rather than scowl when I am being obstructed by jobsworths:

I make a final bequest under the provisions of the Human Tissue Gift Act of 1971. I leave my arse-hole, and all necessary integument thereto appertaining, to the Faculty of Philosophy; let it be stretched upon a steel frame so that each New Year's Day, the senior professor may blow through it, uttering a rich, fruity note, as my salute to the world of which I now take leave ...

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