Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Falling In Lit Love Again

Dearest Nick,
I still love you & when I see your rakish grin and your gorgeous bald head staring up at me from the book jacket or at some website, I still feel that literary thrill. My hands sweat, and the cover of whatever book of yours I'm holding gets all damp and puckery. Some of my most cherished memories include tearing through The Polysyllabic Spree and hunting like crazy for that magnifying glass as I vroomed through Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt. I even changed my soccer -- I mean football team for you! Furthermore, if/when you do a book tour of South Korea -- well, everyone is just damn well gonna have to understand as I chase you from Seoul to Busan and back again, knocking Koreans and foreigners alike out of my way.

What you should know is that I'm a woman who reads too much. My bookish needs are so many and varied that it's kind of embarrassing. I must have my fiction, my nonfiction and my reading challenges! The last one is what has landed me in trouble: Nick, I've fallen in love again. He's Canadian and he's dead, which means he'll never do a book tour here. If he were alive, I'd be so tempted to tear up my American passport at the border and happily live out the rest of my life in Ontario, freezing to death and waiting for that white-bearded visage to show up in public appearances and on the CBC.

Yes, Nick. I love Robertson Davies! We're both bookworms and adults, aren't we? If you've ever read Fifth Business, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking masterful storyteller. I'm talking dry wit, enjoyably dry, like the finest sherry. I'm talking a writing style that is so smooth, your eyes feel as if they are coasting on Optical Cruise Control all the way to Nirvana. I'm so glad he wrote so many books because I'm enraptured enough to ride the golden waves of his prose all the way through The Second Canadian Book Challenge and into eternity...or at least into my fifties.

One of the reasons I love you so much is that you're both a writer and a reader. I embrace both parts of you. Most of your fans would tell you to get your ass to the PC and hurry up with another book, but they don't understand you like I do, Nick -- after a good day of writing, I want you to get your ass to the bookstore (or bookshop, as you'd put it in the UK) and buy up all the Robertson Davies you can find. Read it, read him. I promise, he's to modern literature what Marah is to modern music. Although we're on totally separate continents, can't we read Robertson Davies together, darling?

And Nick -- I must be stern with you for a moment -- don't just buy Robertson's books and let them just sit forever-and-ever in your "Books Bought This Month" pile. I have friends that read your column faithfully and they'll tell me. I won't be happy. A disappointed Bybee is a grim sight. How grim? By comparison, Mrs. Danvers would look like Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm.

Don't worry; I will NOT forget you. Fever Pitch and Slam still have a prominent spot on my TBR, and you'll always have a special spot in the book stacks of my heart. Meanwhile, my Tough & Cool Inner Bookworm hears another's voice, and he's got a fine Canadian accent.

Love, Kisses and Happy Reading, eh?


Anonymous said...

Thank you.You have made me feel a little less weird for having my little literary crushes ;)

John Mutford said...

From hairless to part sasquatch. That's quite the leap. I hope you and Davies are quite happy together (I hear he cleans up nicely).

Bookfool said...

Hahahaha! I love it! Did I tell you Nick was in Oxford, MS, last year? My son didn't tell me till it was too late! Argh! But, Good Old Nick was playing at a bar and smoking was allowed so I guess I would have walked in, choked and left with a pounding headache. Cigarette smoke is a migraine trigger. Sigh. So close and yet so far.

Miss Kim said...

That was delightful!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderfully enjoyable post Bybee! I think I need to rush out and acquire some Robertson Davies stat! :D

Les said...

Marvelous, Bybee! One of the best letters I've read in a long while.

SFP said...

Ack! I'm guilty of letting too much of my Davies sit unread for too long on the shelves. I've read Salterton and Fifth Business. Guess I ought to read the rest. He's wonderful, but I get distracted by the new and shiny.

Bybee said...

I reign when it comes to weirdness. And lit-weirdness? You bet.

Who needs a shave?/It's Robertson Davies! They wrote that song for ME.

If I had been in Oxford MS, I would've drooled all over the floor of the bar so much I would have slid right back out the door, missing my chance with beloved Nick.

Traveler One,
Thank you.

Antipodean Owl,
Robertson Davies is wonderful...Canada's been hiding a literary treasure.

I thought a letter would be better than warbling "Torn Between Two Lovers".

Robertson Davies is now my new and shiny.

Bibliolatrist said...

Hey Bybee! I tagged you for a short creative-writing activity!

Anonymous said...

Has Nick Hornby always been bald? It's been a long time since I've read him, so I suppose I'll have to read ...Polysyllabic... eventually.

I just wanted to tell you, bybee, that I laughed uproariously at your comment on Trish's site about weeping in hookerville if your favorite bookshop were to close down. You sure do have a way with words!

Anonymous said...

I admit I haven't read Robertson Davies, but have read Nick Hornby whom I love. Now I'm just waiting for Mr. Hornby to respond. ;)

Oh,and I hate to do it this way, but you've been tagged for a meme: http://tinyurl.com/5gvba9

Susan said...

Dear Expat Susan:
*sigh* you've left Nick even after reading Polysyllabic Spree, which I have to read soon, and Housekeeping vs Dirt (I need to frame that title as a warning to anyone who enters our house! Reading wins every time!), but now i know you have left *Nick* to me :-) go ahead and romp with Robertson Davies, your TCIB must be overjoyed and leaping like a school girl, good for her, I get *Nick* to myself now! love, Canadian Susan
PS someday we have to discuss Arsenal!!!

Bybee said...

I've only known Nick as bald. He's perfect as he is. Hair would be superfulous.
You should have seen the hooker I saw a couple of months ago. Bright red dress. High heels. Heavy lipstick. She was perfect..almost as if she was going to a "Career Day" somewhere.

Dear Canadian Susan,
Yes, I've left you Nick to frolic about with, but all bets are off if he sets one foot in Asia. If he should, well, then he's mine again. Fair's fair...you get the other 6 continents! Love, Expat Susan

Anonymous said...

Hah! That was great! I can totally relate to your love of Davies. Have you read his book 'The Merry Heart'?