Swimmers Club

Originally from Misfits Mag, 2016

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Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Factfile

Who: Peppy Ooze
Where: Whalley Range, Manchester, UK
What: Writer


Who are you? 

Hi ... Peppy Ooze. 

Where are you from? 

A council house in the West Midlands I suppose. Now a room in Manchester.

Tell us about your new book? 

Have you got time? Cool ... Well it's called Prose Home Movie. And err ... It's about Peppy O, first-person, writing in his room about every concrete memory from 1994 and every concrete memory regarding the death of his dad. In January 2016 Peppy O goes to work. Peppy O bikes the streets. He smokes. He reads. He steals books. He quits work. He's friendless in Manchester. But in 1994 and during the death of his dad he meets lots of people. In fact the 1994 section is like Kerouac or The Savage Detectives maybe. I dunno. The novel kind of changed organically as I still try to learn to write what I wanna write. I threw it together, blagged it. Added some art and style, bullshit and honesty. And I created this dunno what kind of aesthetic around "Peppy Ooze" as some kind of online construct. Anonymously, I make it all up as I go along. A lot of it is facile. A lot of it is stolen from loads of places. A lot of it is drawn from the surface of shitty life: bad teeth, addictions, bereavement, music like The Fall, films like Performance, books, more books, which're made of other books.

As I say it kind of changed organically like halfway through writing my dad died so I wrote about that and it's possibly a bad novel going on some professional person's idea of what a novel should be but anyway I sat in my room for three or four years trying to teach myself to write and I did a lot of reading, trying to find interesting prose in Shakespeare and Rabelais and Dickens and the King James Bible and Finnegans Wake and Bolaño and Lydia Davis and Tao Lin and DFW and I read things like The Elements of Style and the Orwell essay about politics and literature and I checked out the meaning behind words like voice and skaz and McOndo and I typed about life, breathing in, breathing out ... however amateurishly, ah well.

And just to bang on about this, cos I like typing about it and I rarely get the chance to talk about my work - it's totally false how I've structured it compared to real life chronology. It's fiction. Bowie died too so I added that. I kind of didn't think over-deeply about the content. To talk cheese: Some of it's like a low-rent Knausgaard. Maybe. But it's all surface, no philosophy. The death bits are like Karl Ove perhaps. Again I dunno. Maybe there's some slack in the style, typos even. But a guy I know through Twitter and emailing Henry Gifford read a draft and said it was okay. So yeah. The novel is now for sale. Kindle first. Then print. I've priced it as low as possible. Maybe three strangers will buy it. Corey AM said he's gonna get a print copy... Hope he enjoys. Phew.

What would you call your book? Poetry? Prose? Some mixture? Do you think much about these kinds of distinctions?

Err ... Like a scratchy home movie, in parts, glued together in my room which is like a one-man Warhol prose-about-me factory in my head. That kind of shit keeps me going. But I can't write poems. 

Can you say something fancy and clever and literary about your book?

I once posted words to Megan Boyle's Ask FM and she replied; I don't like your tone. A brilliant putdown. And I once posted to Megan Boyle's Ask FM and it was a cool question and she gave a cool answer that I edited and blended in Prose Home, made it fiction, changed the names. I faked it, which is artifice, which is kind of literary maybe. Mixing registers is literary too. I mix them sometimes, amateurishly. I mix the registers in a pot, which is a metaphor, which is also literary. Otherwise, literary is like Jon Snow in Thrones ... a little bastard you banish to the wall. I'll regret typing that. 

What would you say to sell your book to the general public? 

If you like maggot in the dirt books you might like this and the general public would go ah cool but I've got thingy (a critically acclaimed writer) to read. So I'd go okay no prob. But if you ever want new fiction, personal shit done in a concretey voicey style. And they'd go sure! And then I'd feel vacuous and distant, kind of self-pitying. Everyone's got their own album to make. Maybe one person will buy it and think yeah, this protagonist is lonelier than me. Otherwise, urgh.

How does it differ to what you've written before or doesn't it? 

I used to write zombie film scripts.

Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on next? 

A bad novel ... Prose part two, more grief, more loneliness. I need to do a drug rehab to get off buprenorphine so I might type about that. I'm dreading it. I really like the word howl, books that howl. I'd like to write an essay about books that howl.

Heard any good music this year? 

The sound of Mr Rusk in the film Frenzy saying lovely, lovely, lovely over this deep crunchy electro beat.

Do you fancy yourself as some kind of artist or what? 

You know what? I dunno ... Mr Methane is an artist. Roxanne Gay is an artist. Chris Dankland whose head is made of smoke is an artist. But I'm just off. Off-off. I think I give people the fantods, so to speak. I'm a search engine optimisation consultant who in his spare time makes prose of howls and bones that nobody reads. So maybe I am. Artist is just a word I suppose.

Finally, have you read anything good this year?

Gathering Evidence and the Max Ferber chapter in The Emigrants. Kind of pretentiously I want to soak up the flow and the rhythms of Bernhard and Sebald's prose and the flow and the rhythms of Neu and Cosmic Jokers and Kraftwerk and Faust and La Düsseldorf and Can and The Fall and Popol Vuh and Cluster. Pretentiously cos I'd like all that flow to influence my current typing. Also, I read Kenneth Goldsmith's essay about dumb art and that made me happy for a week. I read Shakes Kollideoscapes too by Carlos McCondo, which is mm, so-so.

Thanks for the opportunity to go on and on about myself... bye.

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'Prose Home Movie' by Peppy Ooze is out now on Dostoyevsky Wannabe