Independent:Books has an excellent article (with copious extracts), on Mark Crick’s parodical new title Satre’s Sink: The Great Writers’ Complete Book of DIY .
Written in the ‘voice’ of each writer who offers DIY advice, this book has some absolute gems including Hanging Wallpaper with Ernest Hemingway, Tiling a Bathroom with Dostoevsky and Repairing a Dripping Tap with Marguerite Duras. Reading the extracts my favourite has to be Hemingway’s wallpapering guide, which goes a little something like this:
Now he took two corners of the paper between thumb and forefinger and folded almost two feet of the paper back on itself, keeping paste against paste, pattern against pattern, until he had made a concertina of the whole pasted length of paper. He kept the folds loose so as not to crease the paper and he felt the slime like glue slide between his fingers. He knew if he did not make the concertina, the tension on the paper would be too great and the paper would break, and he would be left holding only the two corners, like the ears of the bull he had once seen killed when he was a young man.
Too funny! I love it )! The Independent have also pointed me to a similar title by Mark Crick, written in the same vein – Kafka’s Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 17 Recipes. Needless to say both titles are now on my must-read list, albeit the less serious one.