Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

In My Book (Thank You, John Lennon)

I have written a book about the Brooklyn of old - about my childhood - a self-published, unconventional book.

It is not a very straightforward narrative and its chapters are almost like poems, or spoken pieces. Well, they are short, anyway.

I can't blame anyone but myself for the oddness except maybe John Lennon. He wrote a book in 1964 called "In His Own Write" which made me think of writing.

He wrote wonderfully, but strangely. He wrote very short items you couldn't really call stories. It was just writing.

It was the first book I ever bought. I loved the music of the Beatles, especially appreciating Lennon's part in it. I knew he was wordy, funny, tough, a little crazy, and all of that resonated with me. I didn't know about the book until a few years after it was written. I bought it right away. I was just a kid. (It's funny to me now to think of a ten-year old buying a book for himself.)

The book amazed me with its humor and style. I read it over and over, loving the word-play and rule-breaking.

What I couldn't know as a kid was Lennon's debt to Lewis Carroll. And, a bit, James Joyce. I realize it now.

And mine to him. Despite his celebrity, and occasional outlandishness, he was modest of aspect. He used to speak of his lack of education, which he regretted. He taught people, despite it.

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