Janus & Juliet

3 January, 2005 at 10:10 pm (library, music)

Well, it’s January, and everyone is trotting out their Best Of lists for the previous year. I’m not much for lists myself (sorry, Kelly Sue), although I did finally get on board the YMDB.com train.

Two girls underwater.  Photo by Louise Dignand.Anyway, I was reading the Onion AV Club‘s round up of the best books of 2004, and was forced to come to the sad realization that I did very little pleasurable reading this past year, and, indeed, very little reading at all. 2004 for me was the year of television, as I embraced television on DVD and indulged in a fair degree of BitTorrenting. I was so engrossed in preparation for my class on Jehanne d’Arc and my production of The Philadelphia Story that I was frequently burned out on reading after having done so much research. Not that the reading wasn’t pleasurable, but it wasn’t what I normally read for pleasure.

All of which means nothing has yet to surpass the best new novel I read three years ago, Julian Gough’s Juno & Juliet. And was the best book I read in 2004, as I had to re-read it to prepare for a book discussion group filled with six nervous sophomores who were each wondering why on earth I had chosen this book to make people read over the summer (Answer: Depreciating remarks about John Barth, positive comments about Gregory McDonald, and the best Acid Trip Revelation put to pen — particularly because the insight evaporates with the high, as it should).

But thinking about J&J made me wonder what the author had been doing since 2001 and indeed what he might have done before. So I spent a few hours last night trying to track down the “satirical serial” he wrote, as well as the “successful stage play” he co-authored, according to the About The Author copy. No luck. Also no luck finding downloadable versions of songs Gough sung with Toasted Heretic, despite the fact that he expresses support of internet music distribution venues.

“Oh, I love Napster. I hate the music industry, I’d love to see it destroyed. Please feel free to download Toasted Heretic songs from Napster, Gnutella, AudioGalaxy, MP3.com…”

However, I was able to find a PDF file of a chapter from Gough’s upcoming work, as published in the British Council for the Arts’ anthology New Writing 12. Entitled “The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble”, the anthology says that the excerpt is about “how a dead-goat-compensation scheme gets out of hand and the UN steps in”. How this will fit in with the entire novel, to be titled Jude O’Reilly, and which his CV describes as the opposite of “beautiful, realistic, psychologically acute, and narrated by an intelligent 18-year-old girl”, is yet unclear. Some more information is provided by the Arts Council by way of an MS Word document (55 Kb) interviewing Gough about the excerpt, and this wholly unrelated link to a RealAudio interview with the author is also quite fun.

However, none of that answered the question I’d originally hit the net to find out. So if anyone can let me know what the title of his play was, I’d be extremely grateful.

1 Comment

  1. Julian Gough said,

    Hmmm. I’m a little late responding to this (I just googled Toasted Heretic and stumbled on your page), but anyway… My stage play (which I co-wrote with the Flying Pig Comedy Troupe) was called Peig: The Musical!, and was very loosely inspired by a book called Peig: An Old Woman’s Reflections, which is surely the dullest book ever written in any language by anyone, anywhere, ever. Which is why we turned it into a musical comedy. We (everyone in Ireland) had to read Peig, in Irish, in school. The key words, endlessly repeated, are: “misery”, “hardship”, and “poverty”.

    Anyway, enough for now. If you’re still interested, I’ll tell you later about the satirical serial…

    Oh, and it will soon be much, much easier to hear Toasted Heretic. The first two cassette albums we recorded (“Songs for Swinging Celibates” and “Charm & Arrogance”) are being issued on CD for the first time on September 23rd (2005). It’ll be a rather scrumptious double album, on retro-look, grooved, black vinyl CDs. We’re calling it “Now In New Nostalgia Flavour”. It should be available in the US through http://www.cdbaby.com, and maybe http://www.amazon.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk as well. If you’re interested, there’s more information on the album and tour etc. from http://www.toastedheretic.com

    Whew! That’ll do for now, don’t want to bore the pants off you.Thanks for the lovely words about Juno & Juliet, I really appreciated them. I’ve been very, very quiet for the last few years, living in Galway and writing my masterpiece, so it’s nice to blink, and look around, and discover that some people still like and remember my earlier stuff…

    -Julian Gough
    Oh, and if you’ve any more questions, feel free to ask me atjuliangough@gmail.com

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