Acme: New and Improved

It always feels good to title a post with multiple oxymorons.  As is becoming a habit, this post will be made up of addenda to its predecessor.  As an artist, there is always the challenge of knowing when a work is finished – but I do try to keep to within 1000 words for a single post: just one measure of the compassion I feel (sorry, fake) for you, dear reader.

Among the candidates for summary crucifixion that I considered before breakfast was Wile E Coyote.   He was never going to receive my vote as he is a personal hero – albeit one let down by his supplier on numerous occasions.  Modern Olympians could learn from Mr Coyote’s dedication and commitment to his project, even after truly terrible set-backs his resolve never weakened.  An inspiration for us all, I think you must agree.

This started me thinking about the Acme Corporation.  Given the very well-publicised issues with its products, I would assume that it is languishing in Chapter 11 administration and in need of a white knight to come to its rescue.  I have for some time been seeking a way to monetise this drivel so that I can retire to the life of luxury I so clearly deserve.  Yesterday, an idea for a new product which could be the saving of Acme (and the keys to the gravy train for me) sprang, unbidden, to my mind – and as part of the viral marketing campaign (or should I go fungal?) to come, I thought I’d share the basics with you.

I found myself with a few minutes to kill before dinner, after unusually swift translation from West Dulwich to Oxford Circus by the combined forces of Southeastern and TfL.  As is all too common, I frittered this time away in Foyles – though frankly, it would be cheaper just to give my wallet to the first ne’er-do-well I encountered.  To minimise the fiduciary risk, I tried to retain crystalline focus on my objective – in this case the poetry department – and not fall prey to the temptation that lay, wantonly, all around me.

Why the poetry department, you may wonder.  Well I blame the combined forces of Ian McMillan and my blog-brother.  Perhaps luckily, they lacked any work by Francisco Serrano – even in translation (and I was after the Spanish) – but they did have the Selected Works of Fernando Pessoa.  I just sampled the first two stanzas of Tabacaria (the Tobacco Shop)  and I knew I was lost.  I learned that (a) I must own this book and (b) I must never read it in public.

Anyway, as I tried desperately not to be distracted from my “prize”, I realised what it was that I needed.  Every decent human being will sometimes need a set of Bookshop Blinkers™ to keep their eyes from straying from their target and towards all the tempting morsels immodestly left lying around by pimpish booksellers.  I’m thinking these would be offered in a range of colours and finishes and, perhaps for the more adventurous or shameless reader, in wipe clean leather or neoprene.

Am I a genius or what?  Easy Street here I come…

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6 thoughts on “Acme: New and Improved

  1. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    The Pessoa was translated by one Richard Zenith – apparently he won the Prémio Pessoa in 2012, so must presumably know his onions (or cebolas). His translation of The Tobacco Shop is available on the internet and so I read it this afternoon. The poem is incredible – for much of it, it is as though Pessoa was inside my head transcribing my thoughts (all long before I was born, let alone able to give birth to my current neuroses). It would seem that I have even fewer original thoughts than even I imagined.

    I must thank you for the introduction to Alfredo’s work: I may be less unique than I might fondly have imagined, but am also less alone.

    • Dimitris Melicertes says:

      I’m laughing at ”Alfredo”, I don’t know why I found this hilarious! In any regard, Pessoa is widely known in Greece but (I think?) not so much here – maybe because of the translations? I’ll look up Zenith’s translation, I’ve read little of the specific poem in English. But yes, Pessoa is splendid at making you feel less alone. Especially as he comes with a crowd of pseudonyms.

  2. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    He certainly did use quite the range of noms de guerre – and you have at least one. Perhaps this is an example I should also follow? I do have a couple of alternative identities that I could press into service.

    Is Pessoa translated into Greek, or have you been reading him in the original Portuguese? I can make a decent stab at written Portuguese (well, I can if the context is power stations and related legislation) though the spoken language is totally beyond me. The words look like they’re almost Spanish but the speech sounds like Polish.

    • Dimitris Melicertes says:

      No, I think the double F is intriguing. But if you want to switch between genres like Banks did it might be useful to play by dropping one F or even adding one more. So your readers know that if it says Ffoulkes on the cover it’s ”mainstream” fiction, if it says Foulkes it’s non-fiction (because no-f), and if it says Fffoulkes you’ve been drinking.

      I can’t read Portuguese, no, it was just a translation in Greek. But from what I gather as a language both Portuguese and Spanish (which I used to speak) are quite close to Greek in terms of linguistic idiosyncrasy so hopefully it was close to the original.

  3. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    The second F is a nod to my Welsh heritage, where a single F is pronounced as a V in English. In fact, it is a fake added by my ancestors in the 1870s for reasons unknown, but assumed to relate to social climbing (I fear my blood may be less blue than you might have imagined).

    My name is mis-spelled all the time – and even when I correct the spelling, large organisations often “correct” it back to a single F. The “surplus” F is also often taken to be an additional initial.

    Once, at Hanover airport, a German official was reluctant to allow me into the country as he did not believe my name had two Fs – which I thought was somewhat rich given the German language’s love of consonants!

    My alternative names have a common genesis, but one unrelated to my given name(s). The history is explained (to the extent I explain anything) way back in the archives of GofaDM. If you set your time machine for late January 2011 (or search for Fish Tales) much will be revealed – including why most of the people I met yesterday referred to me as “Spicer” throughout.

    It is interesting to learn that my rather rusty knowledge of Spanish will be beneficial if I choose to tackle Greek – I certainly remember that a whole group of nouns ending in “a” (like estrategema) are masculine (and not feminine as one might imagine) as they come from the Greek.

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