It’s the Arts, Stupid

“Mr. Tyrell Hokus is our guest in the studio today on BookTalk. Mr. Hokus is the author of a controversial new biography of Impressionist French composer Maurice Ravel. Good morning, Mr. Hokus.”

“Morning, Salvatore.”

“Tom.”

“Sorry, Tom.”

“Mr. Hokus, you are without a doubt one of the most talked-about arts biographers on the literary scene today, and your books never fail to produce a strong reaction from the arts community. All indications are that your latest book, Maurice Ravel: Disgusting Frog of a Queer, will be no exception.”

“Well, Tom, the thing is, is that no one wants to see their all time favorite music guy reveal to be a mincing queen who out to have been smothered in his bleeding crib.”

“So it is your contention that Ravel was a homosexual.”

“I say, as I say in my book and I will continue to say in all my future books to come, that anyone who dresses like a girl, and is a swanning French artsy type, whose name, to top it all off, is Maurice, has got to be nothing more than a minter from the word go.”

“And you believe that his sexual preferences, still taboo at the time, had a profound influence on his body of work?”

“On his what?”

“On his life’s work, his composition.”

“I’m sorry, I’m not catching your drift. You mean what he looked like?”

“No, I mean to say on his music.”

“Oh, right, his music. Symphonies and whatnot. Well, that I can’t really say. I’ve never heard any of it that I know of. But look, if you act like a sod and dress like a sod, I reckon you play the violin like a sod too. Now, him playing the violin, that’s just me making a guess, but whatever he played, you’d best believe he did it with a limp wrist.”

“You’re…you’re saying that you’ve never heard any of Ravel’s music?”

“Well, again, that’s just as far as I know about. It’s possible that I may have heard it on an elevator, or in a cartoon, or the like. Is he the one who did ‘Blue Danube’, or was that Vivaldi?”

“Mr. Hokus, why did you write this book?”

“I think that it’s my duty to inform people what these so-called ‘heroes’ they put up on a pedestal were really like, even if it’s something they don’t want to necessarily hear about.”

“Your book is over 800 pages long. If you know nothing about his music, how can you fill up so much space discussing his life?”

“Honestly, I don’t really know anything about his life either, except that he was a French, really famous symphony writer, and that he was as queer as a three-dollar bill.”

“So what exactly does your book consist of?”

“The first three sections are descriptive passages about Maurice Ravel and his filthy homosexual acts, and how much they disgust me personally; the next two sections are speculations about what monkeyshines he must have got up to with his lousy homosexual friends and how repulsive all that must have been; the fourth is a historical speculation about other famous people who were probably corn-holers or rug-munchers; and the remaining eight sections are simply recapitulations of my own view of gay-boys, with a special supplementary index concerning what I believe ought to be done to these appalling freaks of nature. There’s a 78-page afterword in which I address specifically how I would have dealt with that monstro pervert, Maurice Ravel.”

“Do you have any kind of historical evidence that would support your claim that Ravel was, in fact, a homosexual?”

“Just a gut feeling, really.”

“And your next book?”

“Right now I’m in the preparatory stages of researching my next arts biography, to be titled George Grosz: Portrait of a Sick Deviant Polack Child Molester.”

“Dealing with the artist famous for his early anti-militaristic, anti-bourgeois drawings…”

“Oh, an artist, was he? Well well. You learn something new every day.”

“…and who was, in fact, German, not Polish.”

“Well, near as dammit.”

“Will you be touching on his formative relationship with Dada?”

“Frankly, Tom, I’m more interested in the relationships he was always forming with Baby than with Dada.”

“Thank you for appearing today on Bookchat, Mr. Tyrell Hokus.”

“Can I talk about my signings?”

“No.”

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