Published on August 5th, 2013
Omnivore Pin-up: Jasper, 38, North London
Jasper is an above average painter, an innovative independent publisher looking for great new novelists (or just decent genre fiction) and moany critic. Though he’s mostly here to be admired, he wouldn’t turn down a date. Fan mail and date requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Box 3708.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am rereading Independence Day by Richard Ford on my kindle. I think I may have overrated the book; it’s the middle part of a trilogy dealing with the existential crisis of a white middle-aged man (sort of sub-John Updike Rabbit). I feel heavily the critique that a hyperaware literate stream of consciousness is somewhat unlikely in our New Jersey realtor hero. And the idea that he used to be a writer/sportswriter is an all too convenient premise. Still I enjoy Ford’s longueurs.
What have you just finished reading?
I have just finished reading a bunch of books by author du jour James Salter. My desire to read about cocktails, terse masculinity, and anal sex in French hotels has been sated.
What will you read next?
I need to get away from white American males. Perhaps I will flush out my system with some Chinese misery fiction.
Which author do you have a crush on?
Sybille Bedford. Although she was old when I read her, and now dead, and thirdly and least relevantly, mainly a lesbian, I believe. I fall in love with almost everything I read; I inhabit the world, and forget to be myself for a while. With Bedford her books are joyfully full of intelligent observation, travel, smart people, roof terraces etc. You always wonder what a relationship would be like with the author. I was even thinking the same thing about no-nonsense Canadian Alice Munro the other day.
What’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever read?
Sexy in the sense of erotic or sexy in terms of being desirable? I suppose just for masturbation I liked Jilly Cooper as a teen; then was shamed/intrigued by a tattered copy of My Secret Life, the Victorian anonymous porn memoir. Anais Nin and Henry Miller are quite good too. With the digital age, I am afraid youth will not get the same hands-on pleasure out of literature.
Which book would you give someone you’re trying to impress?
I always give people the Rabbit books by John Updike (referred to earlier). And in almost every case the misogynistic voice of white suburbia is a total turn-off, surprise surprise. Ditto grumpy post-colonialist V.S Naipaul which I press on women. Perhaps a slim volume of poetry or Milan Kundera or some French theorist would make a better impression.