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Showing posts with label Hermann Orff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hermann Orff. Show all posts

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Truth about Russell Hoban (according to Hermann Orff)

More views of - or after - Cambridge Film Festival 2011
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


22 December

Those who know Russ Hoban's work well (although he is also author of A Practical Guide to Wood-working, and a number of spin-off titles such as A Practical Guide to Working with Live Maggots on Film-sets) will not be surprised by the revelation, cannily made to-day by one-time shrinkhead and writer for the breakfast-cereal market Hermann Orff, that the person who has died recently was not really Russ at all.

Let me (with the benefit of what, courtesy of Hermes Soundways®, I have understood about the whole Hoban Morphing Project - Humph for short - in the last few crazy days, when sleep seemed a luxury, not a necessity) try to explain:

* Orff first got it from a cabbage that wasn't really a cabbage, but a tip-off that domestic intelligence was getting wise to the whole Hoban vibe, that things were not as they seemed.

* He, being a crazy son of a bitch at the best of times and, like the prophets of old, not one to do what he was damn'd well told, tried to turn the mission down (as if we Agents have any choice, any right of veto, say, about being despatched to Connemara with god-little notice to obtain Yerk's tie-pin (by fair means or foul)!

* So he buggers off to Antibes, and starts hanging out with set there, saying that, despite his thick Rhine accent, he is a Plaid Cymru councillor turned t.v. evangelist who has been working wonders in Mold and even as far as Chester...

* Anyway, the short of it is that he gets zapped in quite the sort of way that he's making out the hand of God is whipping his flock into divine order, because Youdi visits him personally (but in a dream - some of your mystic apparition stuff) and tells him that if he doesn't fry his backside pronto and get back to Blighty, no accrued pension rights (deferred or no) for him.

* Orff falls in line, and goes on the snoop like a good member of the agenthood. Truth is, MI5 has by now got the whole scam, so pretending to date Stella Rimington by overpraising her latest ouevre brings him enough Gewissheit to blow the gaff and, on the pretext that he is a demented collector of plastic figures from the packets of those puffy little boulders of sheer sucrose that Orff himself had been wont to scoff at breakfast as a boy, secures the whole Hoban files.

* On Youdi's orders, this time communicated through that rather bored and, if not world-weary, then rather mundane bearer of tidings Gaber, he legs it with the dossiers, leaving behind a dented metal globe and some electrodes (some trip Kraken had been on made him think that it would be a red herring), and pores over the whole caboodle down at The Cheshire Cheese.

* I see him there, think to myself I wonder what the schlemihl's up to this time with his conspicuous Bogart gear (hat and all), and, sidling up, start plying him with double pink gins, for which he has an insatiable fondness. Well, he's got the fondness, but he hasn't got the stomach to go with it (and is toping on a near-empty stomach), so, on his sixth, he's suddenly belly side up on the floor, and I'm legging it with the Hoban papers.

* I go to a location that Lola told me about, some weird sort of castle place off the south coast that she liked (it was nice, with the ribbons and banners and all that), and master the whole scheme in a matter of hours, plied by a dram or two from the Sound of Islay, before getting the nub over to Youdi on the old handheld (had to stand on one leg, though, facing the wind to get a signal when it came to transmit).

* Message back from Youdi, via a vision of a bus about to plunge off the edge of a nearby cliff and the assorted screams of the no longer would-be passengers, to make a posting here.

* So, the real Huss Hoban (christened Russell Idaho Obama) first saw the light of day the day that Christ died at his parental home in Foxrock nearly 55 years ago. Unaccountably, though the ostensible child of a god-fearing Protestant Irish couple called Becquet, he was black, and it does not require a genius to work out that he was destined for the care of the Sisters of Mercy.

* All in all, he quickly had a new home in Brixton, and grew up, not knowing otherwise, as if South London were his natal home, and the immigrant Borges family, who adopted him to overcome childlessness, were his parents.

* When it came to know better, he didn't care to, being too much engrossed in learning the business of being an illustrator to care much about how he was conceived or who gave him birth. However, he did execute a deed to change his name, because he had resolved to overcome the stigma that it was obvious that would detract from his work, if, as he fancied, he branched out into writing.

* In a place as huge and populous as the States, finding someone with the same name who would settle in the UK and front as him for as long as was convenient was not difficult.

* Both men quite enjoyed their respective roles, one with full licence to embellish any aspect of his life that would enhance the quirky, out-of-the-groove market that his accomplice was seeking to appeal to, who was, in turn, freed from the demands on him to do other than write, without the need to present a front.

* The rest is history. Van Morrison, more obviously, did the same thing when he appointed Brian Kennedy as his public mouthpiece. Those, however, who really believe that Naomi Campbell authored a novel about a swan have wasted precious minutes that could have been spent reading The Daily Mail instead - sorry to have intruded on those endless stories of doom and disaster!