Biography Of A Fish

Daily Post prompt: If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?

Hm. This is a difficult one. There are so many authors whom I love that I would love to have write about me.

William Shakespeare could write a whole play about me in iambic pentameter. That would be pretty nifty.


To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Perhaps not. While I agree with him, I might need a slightly more positive outlook on my life.

How about Joseph Conrad? I love his delectable and omnipotent grasp of the English language.


Faith is a myth and beliefs shift like mists on the shore; thoughts vanish; words, once pronounced, die; and the memory of yesterday is as shadowy as the hope of to-morrow….
In this world – as I have known it – we are made to suffer without the shadow of a reason, of a cause or of guilt….
There is no morality, no knowledge and no hope; there is only the consciousness of ourselves which drives us about a world that is always but a vain and fleeting appearance….
A moment, a twinkling of an eye and nothing remains – but a clod of mud, of cold mud, of dead mud cast into black space, rolling around an extinguished sun. Nothing. Neither thought, nor sound, nor soul. Nothing.

Oh, how I love Conrad, but that’s even more dour than Shakespeare.

Chandler. Raymond Chandler, the most underrated author, even by himself, would never let me down, would he?

BK.1017.Nolan20A-- File Photo-- Jan. 13, 1987-- Raymond Chandler.  LA Library

There is something about the literary life that repels me, all this desperate building of castles on cobwebs, the long-drawn acrimonious struggle to make something important which we all know will be gone forever in a few years, the miasma of failure which is to me almost as offensive as the cheap gaudiness of popular success.

It seems that most of my favorite authors have a pretty severe outlook on life. Perhaps that’s why I love them. On that note, I think we can skip right past Soltzhenitsyn, Orwell and Bukowski.

OK, think. Who is an author whom I love who would speak on a more positive note about my life? Louis-Ferdinand Céline?


Living, just by itself – what a dirge that is! Life is a classroom and Boredom’s the usher, there all the time to spy on you; whatever happens, you’ve got to look as if you were awfully busy all the time doing something that’s terribly exciting – or he’ll come along and nibble your brain.

Alright, I’m about to give up. It seems there are no authors that I like who would be capable of writing about my life from even a slightly positive perspective.

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; ‘life’, something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that’s the only explanation we had. The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it’s yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we’re not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn’t read well.

Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

Yes! That’s it. I want my life story told in the shadow of the knowledge of the immensity of the universe and the amazingly high probability that we even evolved to be here at all while maintaining a sense of humor about it.

So, who is the winner?

Mr. Douglas Adams, of course.