Magazine article The Spectator

Diary

Magazine article The Spectator

Diary

Article excerpt

Whenever, in an idle moment, I dip into one of my own books, I am almost immediately consumed by an unstoppable fou rire. It is immodest of me to make this confession, but I find my own work irresistibly funny. It pleases me to know that other more illustrious authors whom I admire are also deeply amused by their own books. Kafka, Max Brod tells us, always exploded with laughter while reading aloud from his own desolate tales. Ronald Firbank cackled uncontrollably while writing his orchidaceous novels and

D.H.Lawrence, not famous for his sense of humour, laughed often and not seldom inexplicably at his own writings. Even the saurian countenance of Samuel Beckett was creased with laughter as the author contemplated his own sardonic playlets.

I read in the Australian press that my next offering may be my last since the producers have announced it as a 'farewell' tour. This, to my surprise, seems to have attracted global media attention and even a few articles, clearly intended as obituaries, have been published only with the date, time and place of my death elided. This may mean that I won't be touring around the countryside so often but I will certainly be back on the London stage and even on British television, if it decides to raise its standards. At a secret address, known only to a handful of antiquarian book dealers, I am writing my new show, so alas I will not be in England to celebrate the woman who Dame Edna christened the Jubilee Girl back in 2002 in the backyard of Buckingham Palace. The British monarchy is still the most powerful selling agent for Australian magazines and periodicals and when there isn't a news story about Wills and Kate, we fall back on our very own Princess Mary of Tasmania (and Denmark). Sadly, Australians have never been sufficiently proud of Queen Susan of Albania, the Sydney babe who married Crown Prince Leka, son of King Zog of Albania in 1975. Queen Susan and her husband led a peripatetic life, being expelled from Spain for illicit arms dealing. However mutual friends have described her as 'a very nice type of person' and the Australian Republican Movement, which 11 The Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra is now under a cloud and suspected of having affiliations with the pillowbiting community. I have been asked by many people for the etymology of this colourful epithet which I coined in the early 1970s, inspired by a celebrated political scandal in which the letters of a distinguished Liberal politician to a barmy male model were published, and a homosexual affair alleged. …

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