Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Woody Allen And Mordecai Richler Would Say If They Met Claudia Dey

I've never met Claudia Dey, but I'd love to sit down and share an oversized vanilla-iced cupcake with her. I'd pay, and she could sit...and eat...and tell me about the best kinds of edible grass.

Of course that won't happen. But until then I'm cooking with timothy.

I've wondered, with the rise of magic realism in Canadian fiction, what old, dead Canadian writers (and Woody Allen) would say about the books and authors getting press in 2008. I'm sure they'd be thrilled. Mordecai Richler, as we know, loved fairy tales. "Nothing made dad happier," Jacob Richler once said, "than the man who came to our house and danced on the sidewalk to an audio tape, narrated by Rex Murphy, of Duddy Kravitz. He seemed to interpret it as an erotic Gothic romance. This was in 1977. At the climax--when Duddy forges the cheque--dad made me run out and sprinkle sawdust."

Of Dey, Jake says his father might say the following: "I can see him reading her work. I think he might sit there, smile, and say, 'This is a good writer. This is a woman who knows the pulse of the people. And, what's more, I really like her hat.'"

That doesn't sound anything like Mordi, but the son is never too close to the father. The no-longer-living Richler would probably see her smoking her cigar, swallow, and say something like, "I read Stunt last night. Here...Watch carefully. I'm going to bend over, drop my pants. You take a puff of that thing and direct the smoke...blow it right up my ass. I'm only on page sixty-seven...and this way's faster."

That's the Richler we know.

And what about Woody Allen? What would he say of Dey? Forty years ago Allen was really on-point with his analyses. For once it was trendy to hate intellectuals. I think Woody'd like Dey. "Claudia Dey. I met her once. She's a Canadian writer. She's really interested in an authentic--an urban lifestyle. She invited me over for dinner, you know, but I couldn't fit down the rabbit hole."

We'll see where this goes. But the cupcake's a standing offer.

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