‘Light Lifting’ by Alexander MacLeod

Sons and fathers. Fathers and sons.

Before I say anything of note, let me tell you this:

a) I only got vaguely interested in Tim Buckley after falling for the grunge-folk-choral charms of Jeff. I am still only vaguely interested in Tim. I think this is quite a common reaction from us Generation Xers.

b) Uncommonly, perhaps even heretically, I prefer the music of Sean Lennon to John. I have yet to decide where my allegiances lie when Julian is introduced into this aesthetic arbitration.  I don’t get Yoko.  

c) I feel equally lukewarm towards  Loudon, Rufus, and Martha.  I feel that I should be more into Rufus than I am. Rufus Guilt is what I have. Rueful Rufus guilt. Not entirely inconsequentially, but quite contradictorily this song by Loudon is one of my favourite songs. Ever.

d) I have not listened to an album by Dylan or Cohen fils, and have no intention of doing so.

e) David Updike had a number of his short stories published in the New Yorker. Call me a hardbitten cynic but did John really have nothing to do with that? Really? When you Google David Updike, the most recent Boston Globe interview with him runs under the headline: “David Updike Is His Own Man.” Enough said.

f) Dmitri Nabokov writes under a nom de plume so as not to have to do interviews with the Boston Globe promoting the idea of himself as His Own Man. His pen name is…Dan Brown. You heard it here first.

g) I think Duncan Jones was very wise in not picking up a guitar. I also think that it’s sad he never kept the name we all wanted him to direct his films under: Zowie Bowie.

h) Alexander MacLeod‘s father is a “noted” short story writer called Alistair. I generally find the idea of parents giving their children the same name, or even initials, a somewhat narcissistic act. Is it not enough that these offshoots of you might carry visually authenticating traces of your features in theirs? A nose, a finger, a particular slant of the shin? And not just genes but memes: all the thoughts and faults you have, and those few extra, as Larkin reminds us, added just for you. Plus the surname. Do you really need to have yourself affirmed every time you call them down for dinner? Maybe you do.

i)  There is another very fine short story writer (also Canadian) called Alison MacLeod. I don’t believe Alison is related to Alexander or Alistair, but I do wonder what it is with all these Canadian MacLeods and their preternatural gifts for writing short stories.

j) I would like to tell Alexander MacLeod that I have only read him and Alison. I’m down with the kids on this one. Pa MacLeod’s oeuvre has never interested me. But I might just be willing to give him a go now. Only because I’ve enjoyed reading his son’s work, and that possible female relation who lives in Brighton.  So if I want to read more short stories from the MacLeods, Alistair is the only one left.

Have I said anything of note yet? Not sure. Maybe best just listen to the story, eh?


6 Responses to ‘Light Lifting’ by Alexander MacLeod

  1. every sentence astounded me.

  2. A truly brilliant, brilliant story isn’t it Fern?

  3. a great story….thanks for finding it and reading it aloud.

  4. Wow! Powerful. Thanks for posting.

  5. i am stuck at dan brown.

    dan brown.


  6. Thanks Lindsay and Jenn.

    Bliss, surely you’ve heard that Nabokov the Younger writes under a pseudonym? All the net is (OK, five web pages) is wondering what that might be.

    If I were a betting man: DB.

    Or perhaps he’s adding to the posthumous oeuvre of Virginia Andrews?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *