JOSH WRITE BLOG.

JOSH WRITE BLOG.

joshua humphreys, "joshua humphreys australia", comedy novels, novelist, funny, australian, writer, joshua, humphreys, funniest books, exquisite hours, the creative art of wishfulness

A HOARD OF MAGNIFICENCE;
AN ONLY SLIGHTLY EXAGGERATED CHRONICLE;
A FOREST REBEL'S LOGBOOK;
A WRITER'S BOOK OF LOGS.

A HOARD OF MAGNIFICENCE;
AN ONLY SLIGHTLY EXAGGERATED CHRONICLE;
A FOREST REBEL'S LOGBOOK;
A WRITER'S BOOK OF LOGS.

joshua humphreys, writer, author, "joshua humphreys writer", "joshua humphreys author", Australia, comedy novels, novelist, funny, Australian, writer, joshua, humphreys, funniest books, exquisite hours, the creative art of wishfulness, Grieve novel, comedy novel, joshua humphreys

JOSH WRITE BLOG.

JOSH WRITE BLOG.

Joshua Humphreys, comedy novelist, josh write blog

A HOARD OF MAGNIFICENCE;
AN ONLY SLIGHTLY EXAGGERATED CHRONICLE;
A FOREST REBEL'S LOGBOOK;
A WRITER'S BOOK OF LOGS.

A HOARD OF MAGNIFICENCE;
AN ONLY SLIGHTLY EXAGGERATED CHRONICLE;
A FOREST REBEL'S LOGBOOK;
A WRITER'S BOOK OF LOGS.

joshua humphreys, writer, author, "joshua humphreys writer", "joshua humphreys author", Australia, comedy novels, novelist, funny, Australian, writer, joshua, humphreys, funniest books, exquisite hours, the creative art of wishfulness, Grieve novel, comedy novel, joshua humphreys



THE BOOK OF LOGS
is an archive of the gallivanting,
the erudition, the outright foolishness—
that make for the life of
a comedy novelist.





THE BOOK OF LOGS
is an archive of the gallivanting, the devotion,
the sometime outright foolishness—

that make for the life of a comedy novelist.


IT IS, ESSENTIALLY,
THE OCCASIONAL BLOG OF
WRITER JOSHUA HUMPHREYS



IT IS, ESSENTIALLY,
THE OCCASIONAL BLOG OF

WRITER JOSHUA HUMPHREYS



ACT IV: THE END OF ADVENTURE

Could their personalities be combined, these two Georges—Patton and Costanza? And in a story about adventure, for it was adventure the world lacked

...
Read on...

On Smoking A Pipe

I cannot write without smoking my pipe and as well would you ask me to do so without coffee and a desk as without my Savinelli Straight and a pouch of cherry cavendish

...
Read on...

ACT III: THE AUTHOR DRESSED AS A MERMAID

I had tried for something beyond attainment and it was to many the funniest book they had ever read. My career had been launched—the comedy novel was my duty and I would never look back

...
Read on...

ACT II: THE AUTHOR IN VIETNAM

Finding in rural Vietnam an ideal working environment, I developed and adopted a writing routine and soon found that I had written a Woody-Allen Biblical-Epic Vietnam-War novel

...
Read on...

ACT I: BECOMING A SERIOUS MAN

And the 3rd-most frequent question I’m asked is, ‘When did you start writing comedy?’ The answer is simple. When I hijacked my high school’s wikipedia page, and became thereby a folk hero

...
Read on...

New York in the Time of Corona

“There is no room for tourists in a world of displaced persons,” said Evelyn Waugh. There appears none either for itinerant writers in a world of coronavirus

...
Read on...

The Stones of Athens Tour

Calm amid eternity, joy in the face of nothingness, gratitude even for pain—the Greeks accept life with its countless miseries and never shrink from living more fully than

...
Read on...

Support Artists Before They’re Forced to Retire

Art, and artists, are stubborn bulwarks against the economic totalitarianism ruling the globe—and most artists lose money in order to create

...
Read on...

ALL ENTRIES:

ACT IV: THE END OF ADVENTURE

Could their personalities be combined, these two Georges—Patton and Costanza? And in a story about adventure, for it was adventure the world lacked

...
Read on...

On Smoking A Pipe

I cannot write without smoking my pipe and as well would you ask me to do so without coffee and a desk as without my Savinelli Straight and a pouch of cherry cavendish

...
Read on...

ACT III: THE AUTHOR DRESSED AS A MERMAID

I had tried for something beyond attainment and it was to many the funniest book they had ever read. My career had been launched—the comedy novel was my duty and I would never look back

...
Read on...

ACT II: THE AUTHOR IN VIETNAM

Finding in rural Vietnam an ideal working environment, I developed and adopted a writing routine and soon found that I had written a Woody-Allen Biblical-Epic Vietnam-War novel

...
Read on...

ACT I: BECOMING A SERIOUS MAN

And the 3rd-most frequent question I’m asked is, ‘When did you start writing comedy?’ The answer is simple. When I hijacked my high school’s wikipedia page, and became thereby a folk hero

...
Read on...

SEMESTER ONE, DONE, SON!

SEMESTER ONE, DONE, SON!

10th April 2020


And just like that, The New Cavalier Reading Society has conversed for 11 weeks and we now have
our final reading, our final discussion questions, for Semester 1 of 2020…

We started off with a biography of Wagner then read Jackie Mason, Jerry Seinfeld, AND Ricky Gervais on political correctness;

We heard tales of Russian cannibalism in WW2 and looked at Stalin’s favourite painting;

Read Roger Scruton on the Ring Cycle, Milan Kundera on European identity,
Banksy on advertising, Kokoschka on fin-de-siècle Vienna;

William Faulkner on legacy, Elise Boulding on the present, excerpts from Richard Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’ (about which Byron said: “the most amusing and instructive medley of quotations & classical anecdotes I ever perused.”) H.D.F. Kitto on The Greeks, & Norm Macdonald on life!

AND all of us are now watching Wagner’s ‘Siegfried’ so that we can together
discuss its music and its themes this weekend in our tutorials!

So, mid-pandemic-lockdown, for the 1st time EVER…

I thought I’d share with you the eclectic brilliance that we all read each week, as well as give you a great many delightful & thought-provoking passages for your quarantine—by here making available to you this week’s pages from my Commonplace Book!

Almost 200 quotations from sources as diverse & disparate as Baudelaire, James Joyce, Cicero and Norm Macdonald—Josh Write Blog is your 1st chance ever to see precisely what The New Cavalier Reading Society enjoys through our
year-long adventure through 3000 years of art, history, & philosophy!

Download & read the same 26 pages that The New Cavalier Reading Society itself is now reading,
in time for our last 2 tutorials for the semester…

Revel! In the glorious & everlasting thing that is culture, right [ here ].


10th April 2020


And just like that, The New Cavalier Reading Society has conversed for 11 weeks and we now have
our final reading, our final discussion questions, for Semester 1 of 2020…

We started off with a biography of Wagner then read Jackie Mason, Jerry Seinfeld, AND Ricky Gervais on political correctness;

We heard tales of Russian cannibalism in WW2 and looked at Stalin’s favourite painting;

Read Roger Scruton on the Ring Cycle, Milan Kundera on European identity,
Banksy on advertising, Kokoschka on fin-de-siècle Vienna;

William Faulkner on legacy, Elise Boulding on the present, excerpts from Richard Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’ (about which Byron said: “the most amusing and instructive medley of quotations & classical anecdotes I ever perused.”) H.D.F. Kitto on The Greeks, & Norm Macdonald on life!

AND all of us are now watching Wagner’s ‘Siegfried’ so that we can together
discuss its music and its themes this weekend in our tutorials!

So, mid-pandemic-lockdown, for the 1st time EVER…

I thought I’d share with you the eclectic brilliance that we all read each week, as well as give you a great many delightful & thought-provoking passages for your quarantine—by here making available to you this week’s pages from my Commonplace Book!

Almost 200 quotations from sources as diverse & disparate as Baudelaire, James Joyce, Cicero and Norm Macdonald—Josh Write Blog is your 1st chance ever to see precisely what The New Cavalier Reading Society enjoys through our
year-long adventure through 3000 years of art, history, & philosophy!

Download & read the same 26 pages that The New Cavalier Reading Society itself is now reading,
in time for our last 2 tutorials for the semester…

Revel! In the glorious & everlasting thing that is culture, right [ here ].



JOSH WRITE BOOK.

WAXED  EXCEEDING  MIGHTY

WAXED
EXCEEDING
MIGHTY

Adam Athelstan grows & sells — and sings to —
very rare flowers.

My first novel,
& a delightful one at that.

joshua humphreys, exquisite hours, grieve, melbourne, australian, comedy novel

GRIEVE

Hector Grieve was once
the angriest young man
in the world.

He is about to become once again... the angriest young man in the world.

THE
NEW CAVALIER
READING SOCIETY

An all-year adventure through
3000 years of culture,
you'll discuss humanity's most profound questions with a whole society
of exuberant cavaliers—
and have a novelist as your tutor...

comedy, novel, joshua, humphreys, anais, spencer, wanderlust, writer, melbourne, venice, bangkok, hilarious,

EXQUISITE HOURS

Anais Spencer travels the world lying to men...

The book that launched a career, (& currently in pre-production as a movie.)

comedy, novel, joshua, humphreys, anais, spencer, wanderlust, writer, melbourne, venice, bangkok, hilarious, melbourne, shakespeare

TO SAVE A
FOREST
VIRGIN

My new & debut play is
Shakespeare meets
Sex and the City meets the Comedy Novel...

JOSH WRITE BOOK.

comedy, novel, joshua, humphreys, anais, spencer, wanderlust, writer, melbourne, venice, bangkok, hilarious,

EXQUISITE HOURS

Anais Spencer travels the world
lying to men...

The book that launched a career,
(& currently in pre-production as a movie.)

WAXED  EXCEEDING  MIGHTY

Adam Athelstan grows & sells — and sings to — very rare flowers.

My first novel,
& a delightful one at that.

THE
NEW  CAVALIER
READING  SOCIETY

An all-year adventure through
3000 years of culture,
you'll discuss humanity's most profound questions with a whole society
of exuberant cavaliers—
and have a novelist as your tutor...

joshua humphreys, exquisite hours, grieve, melbourne, australian, comedy novel

GRIEVE

Hector Grieve was once
the angriest young man
in the world.

He is about to become once again... the angriest young man in the world.

comedy, novel, joshua, humphreys, anais, spencer, wanderlust, writer, melbourne, venice, bangkok, hilarious, melbourne, shakespeare

TO SAVE A
FOREST
VIRGIN

My new & debut play is
Shakespeare meets
Sex and the City meets the Comedy Novel...

JOSH WRITE BLOG.

JOSH WRITE BLOG.


GREAT CITY OF IMMORTALS

GREAT CITY OF IMMORTALS

18th November 2019


I can earnestly say, as I stand in fullest tropical sunshine typing with immersed torso at the ledge of a swimming pool, that nowhere else have I found quite so many confluences of convenience and aesthetics as in Bangkok.

In my old age there are very few places I consider interesting enough to live in. In my continued penury there are even fewer in which I might be able to consider eating. Though it may seem that a writer can live & work anywhere he likes, you must remember that a writer who refuses both to pander and to propagandise is also necessarily a poor one.

In greenbacks (a delightful term which always smells of turtles) I cannot yet envisage a world where I see more than $12,000 over the course of a year. 

And so, with 3 things to accomplish between now and 2021—the launch of The 2020 New Cavalier Reading Society, the full release of The Creative Art of Wishfulness, the researching and construction of The Stones of Bangkok Tour—I must consider where most of next year’s action shall take place.

London is bland and expensive and for much the greater part of the year uninhabitable except by those whose concern for money outweighs their concern for anything else at all.

I cannot launch a book from Melbourne, as my printer refuses to ship books thither. Thither! As well, it is bland and expensive and beset by poles of weather so extreme that my sun-blistered corpse would only be saved from immolation by the onset of frosted rain.

Vietnam’s postal service is so hopeless that I know of a watch company that sends its employees 900km to deliver a $50 product in person before trusting a communist mailman.

And Italy, as far as I know, has no pools at whose sunlit ledge I might work for 500 turtles a month.

So that—is the economy side of things.

Bangkok is a happy—the happiest—coincidence of price and beauty—of convenience and colour, of value and taste, freedom and labour.

I have though been worried that returning here was a giant huff of nostalgia. Bangkok is the first place in Asia I ever visited, way back in 2012 when I had not so much as a mobile telephone let alone my own website. As well, my 7 months here in 2017 remind me of writing Grieve and of not being so very old, and that time was cut short by romantic folly.

Am I here to right historical wrongs—always a foolish endeavour?

The city of Bangkok was founded to correct a mistake—an entire people relocated to the banks of the river that I can see from my rooftop, solely to ensure that the Burmese destruction which befell their previous capital could not befall them again. The ruins were even floated downriver to construct the new capital. It is a city founded on nostalgia, escape, and new beginnings. Apt, would here be the aptest hashtag. To an artist, anywhere that values the beautiful may be called a home. And much of Thailand, in its decorative art, in its money-renouncing temples, in its love of colour—may be called beautiful.

So I sit considering a year's lease in my (Godfrey’s) old building. The very thought of a year’s anything frightens me. The same place for longer than 3 months? Although Thailand’s 30-day visa does necessitate that I travel regularly. But coming in and out I am at the mercy of immigration officials who, as I said, see me as no different to a backpacker.

To sign then, or not to sign…?


18th November 2019


I can earnestly say, as I stand in fullest tropical sunshine typing with immersed torso at the ledge of a swimming pool, that nowhere else have I found quite so many confluences of convenience and aesthetics as in Bangkok.

In my old age there are very few places I consider interesting enough to live in. In my continued penury there are even fewer in which I might be able to consider eating. Though it may seem that a writer can live & work anywhere he likes, you must remember that a writer who refuses both to pander and to propagandise is also necessarily a poor one.

In greenbacks (a delightful term which always smells of turtles) I cannot yet envisage a world where I see more than $12,000 over the course of a year. 

And so, with 3 things to accomplish between now and 2021—the launch of The 2020 New Cavalier Reading Society, the full release of The Creative Art of Wishfulness, the researching and construction of The Stones of Bangkok Tour—I must consider where most of next year’s action shall take place.

London is bland and expensive and for much the greater part of the year uninhabitable except by those whose concern for money outweighs their concern for anything else at all.

I cannot launch a book from Melbourne, as my printer refuses to ship books thither. Thither! As well, it is bland and expensive and beset by poles of weather so extreme that my sun-blistered corpse would only be saved from immolation by the onset of frosted rain.

Vietnam’s postal service is so hopeless that I know of a watch company that sends its employees 900km to deliver a $50 product in person before trusting a communist mailman.

And Italy, as far as I know, has no pools at whose sunlit ledge I might work for 500 turtles a month.

So that—is the economy side of things.

Bangkok is a happy—the happiest—coincidence of price and beauty—of convenience and colour, of value and taste, freedom and labour.

I have though been worried that returning here was a giant huff of nostalgia. Bangkok is the first place in Asia I ever visited, way back in 2012 when I had not so much as a mobile telephone let alone my own website. As well, my 7 months here in 2017 remind me of writing Grieve and of not being so very old, and that time was cut short by romantic folly.

Am I here to right historical wrongs—always a foolish endeavour?

The city of Bangkok was founded to correct a mistake—an entire people relocated to the banks of the river that I can see from my rooftop, solely to ensure that the Burmese destruction which befell their previous capital could not befall them again. The ruins were even floated downriver to construct the new capital. It is a city founded on nostalgia, escape, and new beginnings. Apt, would here be the aptest hashtag. To an artist, anywhere that values the beautiful may be called a home. And much of Thailand, in its decorative art, in its money-renouncing temples, in its love of colour—may be called beautiful.

So I sit considering a year's lease in my (Godfrey’s) old building. The very thought of a year’s anything frightens me. The same place for longer than 3 months? Although Thailand’s 30-day visa does necessitate that I travel regularly. But coming in and out I am at the mercy of immigration officials who, as I said, see me as no different to a backpacker.

To sign then, or not to sign…?



ABSOLUTELY NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT

16th November, 2019


This is no advertisement. But as this is a chronicle of my writerly life, I cannot not mention what is taking up all of my time.

Digital nomads, from their digital yurts, spend a whole year sending you heartfelt expostulations on how they think you want them to feel, on manipulating you into sympathising with them, in claiming similar emotional afflictions to yours—then once a year their emails change from once a week to 3 times a day as they attempt to trigger your cognitive habits in order to sell you their "amazing" self-transformation courses. As well, at Christmas time they mention the noise-cancelling headphones they “recommend”, accompanied by a link whose clicking gives them money.

These, you must recognise, are not people. They are living breathing advertisements.

As I said, this is no advertisement. I despise headphones. I am not a digital nomad and I loathe yurts. Rather than manipulate or trigger, rather than advertise—I shall paint a picture of not only what is occupying all my time but what will occupy much of my coming year.

Imagine a world where you own 3 books which in erudition and eclecticism, in beauty and insight, are beyond almost all other books. Books that have taken 10 years of life, reading, and travel to compile and refine. 

So you own those 3 books, and so do a select few individuals from all around the world. And you’re connected to these people by these books. 

And each week you and those individuals, who are fast becoming your intellectual intimates and cultural bedfellows, read the same 25 pages from those books. 

And you discuss your reading while you’re reading it—share documentaries and talks related to what you're discovering.

Then at the weekend you come together under the instructional eye of a novelist and you discuss that reading with those individuals and with that writer.

And nobody mentions politics or horoscopes or raises their voice or says “Yolo”.

And after months of these cultural discussions and explorations you’ve been exposed to dozens of new concepts, baskets-full of new ideas, whole rosters of new writers, thinkers, & artists—you’ve had your mind blown and your imagination expanded, your intellect well and truly enlarged.

And these individuals who’ve blown your mind and delighted your minds, they’ve somehow become your friends. You exchange books that you’ve read, send each other journal articles, even meet up with them in faraway places. Solely because you share an interest in knowledge and a common appetite for wisdom.

And still each week you read another 25 pages. The expansion goes on; the discussion continues.

Imagine that world.

And know that that world is The New Cavalier Reading Society. Its construction, preparation, and refinement, has taken up most of my last 2 months and much of my past 2 years.

A Reading Society for which, early enrolments opened today, and are only open this weekend.

I’m not going to write down the society’s website or include a link to it, because this is not an advertisement.

It is merely a Log, in my Book of them. In my hoard of magnificence; my only slightly exaggerated chronicle; this Forest Rebel’s logbook; this writer’s... Book of Logs.


16th November, 2019


This is no advertisement. But as this is a chronicle of my writerly life, I cannot not mention what is taking up all of my time.

Digital nomads, from their digital yurts, spend a whole year sending you heartfelt expostulations on how they think you want them to feel, on manipulating you into sympathising with them, in claiming similar emotional afflictions to yours—then once a year their emails change from once a week to 3 times a day as they attempt to trigger your cognitive habits in order to sell you their "amazing" self-transformation courses. As well, at Christmas time they mention the noise-cancelling headphones they “recommend”, accompanied by a link whose clicking gives them money.

These, you must recognise, are not people. They are living breathing advertisements.

As I said, this is no advertisement. I despise headphones. I am not a digital nomad and I loathe yurts. Rather than manipulate or trigger, rather than advertise—I shall paint a picture of not only what is occupying all my time but what will occupy much of my coming year.

Imagine a world where you own 3 books which in erudition and eclecticism, in beauty and insight, are beyond almost all other books. Books that have taken 10 years of life, reading, and travel to compile and refine. 

So you own those 3 books, and so do a select few individuals from all around the world. And you’re connected to these people by these books. 

And each week you and those individuals, who are fast becoming your intellectual intimates and cultural bedfellows, read the same 25 pages from those books. 

And you discuss your reading while you’re reading it—share documentaries and talks related to what you're discovering.

Then at the weekend you come together under the instructional eye of a novelist and you discuss that reading with those individuals and with that writer.

And nobody mentions politics or horoscopes or raises their voice or says “Yolo”.

And after months of these cultural discussions and explorations you’ve been exposed to dozens of new concepts, baskets-full of new ideas, whole rosters of new writers, thinkers, & artists—you’ve had your mind blown and your imagination expanded, your intellect well and truly enlarged.

And these individuals who’ve blown your mind and delighted your minds, they’ve somehow become your friends. You exchange books that you’ve read, send each other journal articles, even meet up with them in faraway places. Solely because you share an interest in knowledge and a common appetite for wisdom.

And still each week you read another 25 pages. The expansion goes on; the discussion continues.

Imagine that world.

And know that that world is The New Cavalier Reading Society. Its construction, preparation, and refinement, has taken up most of my last 2 months and much of my past 2 years.

A Reading Society for which, early enrolments opened today, and are only open this weekend.

I’m not going to write down the society’s website or include a link to it, because this is not an advertisement.

It is merely a Log, in my Book of them. In my hoard of magnificence; my only slightly exaggerated chronicle; this Forest Rebel’s logbook; this writer’s... Book of Logs.



HOME

HOME

6th November 2019


“I suppose there is no word quite as evocative in the English language as ‘home’ especially if you don’t have one.” — Richard Burton.

Since my conversion to a religious sentiment I’ve been hampered by the joy-removing fixation that all things are temporary. I often wonder if I was so converted because I came to adulthood within a civilisation that was very near ending.

Now, in middle age, the fleeting nature of everything gives me about 7 miniature heart attacks per year. Not literally, I’m exaggerating. But the anxiety is there—so that, 4 years into wandering, the way I live and work feels increasingly as though I am a kind of Prometheus. He chained to a rock and daily having his liver eaten, I chained to nowhere and having to disappear every 90 days.

I’ve not spent more than 3 consecutive months in one place since 2015. The calendar of my travels looks like the evasive manoeuvres of an escaped convict—moving from safe-house to safe-house to avoid arrest for writing elegant comedy.

It is part of the reason why I have so little sympathy for refugees. You have a home, and chose to leave it; you have a destination to reach which you will undergo every manner of humiliation. I have neither.

My living arrangements dictated by visa restrictions according to which I’m no different from a backpacker, any semblance of normality—a social life, a hobby, a home—are impossible to me. I don’t get involved, except in the writing of novels, in anything, because it feels as though everywhere I go I shall be dead—as gone—in 3 months’ time.

Like I said, a kind of digital Prometheus refugee. But a refugee from where? The Australia I grew up in, the Australia my grandparents grew up in—the Australia my grandparents’ grandparents grew up in, is gone. Instead of mourners, its perpetual funeral is packed with revellers-for-hire, their fart-sniffing jubilation having so overtaken society that I find it more foreign to me than a country of whose language I do not know one word

As Karl Kraus said: “Forgive them Lord, they know what they do."

Perhaps it is the reason I run the Reading Society. If only people knew what a glorious and edifying thing is the cultural core of Western Civilization! They would not be so ready to abandon it in favour of the intellectual fashions of today, which shall not be the intellectual fashions of tomorrow.

Perhaps this is the inherent fate of the satirist, the rare fate of the writer of comedy novels. The only man that I might consider my predecessor once admitted that from 1928 until 1937 he had no fixed home and no possessions which would not conveniently go on a porter’s barrow.

That’s a minimum of 8 years living from a porter’s barrow—which can hold many more suitcases than the one of which I am in possession. Do I then have 3 year of this left? By then I shall be old or dead.

I soon turn 34. I shall have lived longer than Alexander the Great and Jesus of Nazareth. At 33 things still felt as though they had potential, frivolity. One could, as I did, start over and over again with little thought to being able to start over again.

But 34… things already have a dreadful finality to them. These are the twilight years—what you are at 34, you are. And if you happen to have gambled on your life for the past half-decade, if you happened to have mortgaged your future and shorted your forties, you are left with only your bets.

A 34-year-old gambler whose races have not yet run.

O, the melancholy of home.


6th November 2019


“I suppose there is no word quite as evocative in the English language as ‘home’ especially if you don’t have one.” — Richard Burton.

Since my conversion to a religious sentiment I’ve been hampered by the joy-removing fixation that all things are temporary. I often wonder if I was so converted because I came to adulthood within a civilisation that was very near ending.

Now, in middle age, the fleeting nature of everything gives me about 7 miniature heart attacks per year. Not literally, I’m exaggerating. But the anxiety is there—so that, 4 years into wandering, the way I live and work feels increasingly as though I am a kind of Prometheus. He chained to a rock and daily having his liver eaten, I chained to nowhere and having to disappear every 90 days.

I’ve not spent more than 3 consecutive months in one place since 2015. The calendar of my travels looks like the evasive manoeuvres of an escaped convict—moving from safe-house to safe-house to avoid arrest for writing elegant comedy.

It is part of the reason why I have so little sympathy for refugees. You have a home, and chose to leave it; you have a destination to reach which you will undergo every manner of humiliation. I have neither.

My living arrangements dictated by visa restrictions according to which I’m no different from a backpacker, any semblance of normality—a social life, a hobby, a home—are impossible to me. I don’t get involved, except in the writing of novels, in anything, because it feels as though everywhere I go I shall be dead—as gone—in 3 months’ time.

Like I said, a kind of digital Prometheus refugee. But a refugee from where? The Australia I grew up in, the Australia my grandparents grew up in—the Australia my grandparents’ grandparents grew up in, is gone. Instead of mourners, its perpetual funeral is packed with revellers-for-hire, their fart-sniffing jubilation having so overtaken society that I find it more foreign to me than a country of whose language I do not know one word

As Karl Kraus said: “Forgive them Lord, they know what they do."

Perhaps it is the reason I run the Reading Society. If only people knew what a glorious and edifying thing is the cultural core of Western Civilization! They would not be so ready to abandon it in favour of the intellectual fashions of today, which shall not be the intellectual fashions of tomorrow.

Perhaps this is the inherent fate of the satirist, the rare fate of the writer of comedy novels. The only man that I might consider my predecessor once admitted that from 1928 until 1937 he had no fixed home and no possessions which would not conveniently go on a porter’s barrow.

That’s a minimum of 8 years living from a porter’s barrow—which can hold many more suitcases than the one of which I am in possession. Do I then have 3 year of this left? By then I shall be old or dead.

I soon turn 34. I shall have lived longer than Alexander the Great and Jesus of Nazareth. At 33 things still felt as though they had potential, frivolity. One could, as I did, start over and over again with little thought to being able to start over again.

But 34… things already have a dreadful finality to them. These are the twilight years—what you are at 34, you are. And if you happen to have gambled on your life for the past half-decade, if you happened to have mortgaged your future and shorted your forties, you are left with only your bets.

A 34-year-old gambler whose races have not yet run.

O, the melancholy of home.



SOCIAL MEDIA, EL DIABLO

2nd November 2019


In the space of a week I was blocked then shadowbanned. My engagement dropped by 90%. I was, effectively, made invisible. What I had to say could be read by only those whom a machine decided it could be read by, my voice heard only by those who might already be listening. 

Why? Because I decided to use a 3rd-party app to unfollow the fake accounts that IG does nothing at all to remove.

And this, makes me furious. I majored in Soviet studies, and have a keen idea of what totalitarianism looks like. You can bet your arse (ass, if you’re American) that China is a totalitarian state, and you can bet your arse that Instagram has become a totalitarian app. Not quite as severe as mowing people down with tanks, but when that totalitarian system is your only voice in a mostly-deaf world, it became one hell of a problem for this individual.

They’ve created a private public space whose sole motive is profit. That’s fucked up. While I was shadowbanned nothing I had posted since February was visible. Effectively 8 months of my life, to my audience, was erased. The Soviets adopted a Roman punishment called Damnatio Memoriae. The Damnation of Your Memory. If you fell from their frightening favour they would airbrush your face from every picture and erase all mentions of your name from books, newspapers, and parliamentary debates.

THIS is what Dave Chapelle talks about when he’s discussing “cancel culture". And I was cancelled not for abusing lesbians, but for sharing my password with another app. What is this, app jealousy? "How dare you share that with another, that was OURS. Tear." 

Why the drastic conclusion and dramatic outcry from a mere Comedy Novelist? Instagram is worth a billion dollars. It makes ALL of its money from my mind, from your mind, from our interactions—my likes and dislikes, my habits and opinions, my thoughts and yours, what they reduce to and call “data”, are its sole source of profit. WITHOUT GIVING A SINGLE THING IN RETURN—while arbitrarily and digitally enforcing the rules of their private public space with no recourse to appeal or a human being.

And it bans someone so innocuous, someone of zero opinions, someone of less political danger than Anthony Hopkins at his easel—from reaching his audience, from making his jokes, from earning his bread.

I then discover that over the past few months no less than 3 people have gone out of their way to track down my girlfriend solely in order to send her malicious falsehoods about me, some of which were made up in reference to as far back as 2016. Why? I have absolutely no fucking idea. Boredom? Jealousy? Outright stupidity? All 3 mixed in with a selfish dementia? Probably.

Social media, then, is used solely to harvest my mind and profit from my work—and to bring about the malevolent destruction of my private life.

And I’m supposed to play by ITS rules?

I dream of a life without it, and have dreamt that dream since exhausting my thumbs with the launch of Grieve. But as long as I refuse to pander or propagandise for the gatekeepers, it is the only method I can think of to grow and sustain my readership—to reach readers new and old, and so to go on writing.

But the first moves have been made. You are reading them, having stepped into a platform that I own — joshvahvmphreys.com And for you, reader of my Book of Logs, I am extremely grateful.

And if the gratitude is reciprocated perhaps you might share this page, and help my great weaning-off of social media, that harvester of my organs and destroyer of my privacy…


2nd November 2019


In the space of a week I was blocked then shadowbanned. My engagement dropped by 90%. I was, effectively, made invisible. What I had to say could be read by only those whom a machine decided it could be read by, my voice heard only by those who might already be listening. 

Why? Because I decided to use a 3rd-party app to unfollow the fake accounts that IG does nothing at all to remove.

And this, makes me furious. I majored in Soviet studies, and have a keen idea of what totalitarianism looks like. You can bet your arse (ass, if you’re American) that China is a totalitarian state, and you can bet your arse that Instagram has become a totalitarian app. Not quite as severe as mowing people down with tanks, but when that totalitarian system is your only voice in a mostly-deaf world, it became one hell of a problem for this individual.

They’ve created a private public space whose sole motive is profit. That’s fucked up. While I was shadowbanned nothing I had posted since February was visible. Effectively 8 months of my life, to my audience, was erased. The Soviets adopted a Roman punishment called Damnatio Memoriae. The Damnation of Your Memory. If you fell from their frightening favour they would airbrush your face from every picture and erase all mentions of your name from books, newspapers, and parliamentary debates.

THIS is what Dave Chapelle talks about when he’s discussing “cancel culture". And I was cancelled not for abusing lesbians, but for sharing my password with another app. What is this, app jealousy? "How dare you share that with another, that was OURS. Tear." 

Why the drastic conclusion and dramatic outcry from a mere Comedy Novelist? Instagram is worth a billion dollars. It makes ALL of its money from my mind, from your mind, from our interactions—my likes and dislikes, my habits and opinions, my thoughts and yours, what they reduce to and call “data”, are its sole source of profit. WITHOUT GIVING A SINGLE THING IN RETURN—while arbitrarily and digitally enforcing the rules of their private public space with no recourse to appeal or a human being.

And it bans someone so innocuous, someone of zero opinions, someone of less political danger than Anthony Hopkins at his easel—from reaching his audience, from making his jokes, from earning his bread.

I then discover that over the past few months no less than 3 people have gone out of their way to track down my girlfriend solely in order to send her malicious falsehoods about me, some of which were made up in reference to as far back as 2016. Why? I have absolutely no fucking idea. Boredom? Jealousy? Outright stupidity? All 3 mixed in with a selfish dementia? Probably.

Social media, then, is used solely to harvest my mind and profit from my work—and to bring about the malevolent destruction of my private life.

And I’m supposed to play by ITS rules?

I dream of a life without it, and have dreamt that dream since exhausting my thumbs with the launch of Grieve. But as long as I refuse to pander or propagandise for the gatekeepers, it is the only method I can think of to grow and sustain my readership—to reach readers new and old, and so to go on writing.

But the first moves have been made. You are reading them, having stepped into a platform that I own — joshvahvmphreys.com And for you, reader of my Book of Logs, I am extremely grateful.

And if the gratitude is reciprocated perhaps you might share this page, and help my great weaning-off of social media, that harvester of my organs and destroyer of my privacy…



BANGKOK!

BANGKOK!

28th October 2019


The city, I think, to which I have the most unique relationship. (not, my relationship is more unique than anyone else’s—but rather my relationship to Bangkok is more unique than my relationship to any other city). 

The first place I ever landed in Asia! The city to which I first fled when I realised that I could be a writer and nothing else! The city that kept drawing me in, day by day, week by week—until I decided to live there for 2017, and which I quickly found supremely amenable to the way I work.

For years I thought I was an oddity, that my love for Bangkok was a defect—WHAT ABOUT EUROPE!? And the reputation that city has among most people! Ladyboys, backpackers, garbage, smog,  traffic.

But Bangkok to me is a city of temples, canals, street food, sunsets,  harmonious mayhem. It's a city in which I've set sections of 2 of my novels. And it's a city which continues to enthral and delight me.

Recently I read a book by a similarly afflicted writer (Alex Kerr), and was astounded to find my reservations in the words of another. If only I had listened to myself for the last few years, had backed my own hunch! So I've at last admitted it:

I love Bangkok, and it is supremely amenable to my work.

My 2020 is looking like: the biggest New Cavalier Reading Society I’ve ever done. A full, months-long launch of The Creative Art of Wishfulness. Writing a new Comedy Novel. And (with more information to follow) a “Stones of Bangkok” Tour.

It again makes sense for me to move to Bangkok.

And so I shall, and am doing so, in just 3 weeks' time. Where I'll begin to research and plan a Bangkok Tour in time for a November-December 2020 season...


28th October 2019


The city, I think, to which I have the most unique relationship. (not, my relationship is more unique than anyone else’s—but rather my relationship to Bangkok is more unique than my relationship to any other city). 

The first place I ever landed in Asia! The city to which I first fled when I realised that I could be a writer and nothing else! The city that kept drawing me in, day by day, week by week—until I decided to live there for 2017, and which I quickly found supremely amenable to the way I work.

For years I thought I was an oddity, that my love for Bangkok was a defect—WHAT ABOUT EUROPE!? And the reputation that city has among most people! Ladyboys, backpackers, garbage, smog,  traffic.

But Bangkok to me is a city of temples, canals, street food, sunsets,  harmonious mayhem. It's a city in which I've set sections of 2 of my novels. And it's a city which continues to enthral and delight me.

Recently I read a book by a similarly afflicted writer (Alex Kerr), and was astounded to find my reservations in the words of another. If only I had listened to myself for the last few years, had backed my own hunch! So I've at last admitted it:

I love Bangkok, and it is supremely amenable to my work.

My 2020 is looking like: the biggest New Cavalier Reading Society I’ve ever done. A full, months-long launch of The Creative Art of Wishfulness. Writing a new Comedy Novel. And (with more information to follow) a “Stones of Bangkok” Tour.

It again makes sense for me to move to Bangkok.

And so I shall, and am doing so, in just 3 weeks' time. Where I'll begin to research and plan a Bangkok Tour in time for a November-December 2020 season...



LAI THAI

26th October 2019


A couple of months ago I stumbled upon Thai Cremation Books.

A custom unique to Thailand and about a century old, they're booklets created for a cremation ceremony, which contain a short biography of the deceased, their favourite (otherwise secret) recipes, their most cherished Buddhist scriptures, photographs, and anything else they wished to pass on before dying.

Then last week I stumbled upon a library of 3,000 of these Cremation Books!

I've been obsessed with Thai art and design since I first lived in Bangkok, all the way back in 2015. So much so that the cover of Exquisite Hours is Thai-inspired and The Creative Art of Wishfulness opens there.

The patterns, with the flames and the fractals and the snake-heads, are called “Lai Thai”, which just means “Thai Patterns”, but they're completely unique in world art.

Largely derived from the sculpted motifs at Angkor Wat, they now have a life of their own and are EVERYWHERE in Thailand—from menus to temple doors—and are Thailand’s contribution to the meagre beauty of the human world.

For the last week I've been scouring this library of 3,000 cremation books for Lai Thai designs, and have compiled over a dozen 5” x 8” pages like the one you see to your right. 

I don’t know where or when I’ll use them. But for now, they are just lovely to look at.
(And I acknowledge that the image I've included looks like a page out of a tattoo-design book.)

But that's Lai Thai—an aesthetic enthusiasm of mine that's been on the slow-burn for a while and has just received a splash of rocket fuel.


lai thai, thai cremation books, the stones of bangkok, kranok, bangkok

LAI THAI

26th October 2019


A couple of months ago I stumbled upon Thai Cremation Books.

A custom unique to Thailand and about a century old, they're booklets created for a cremation ceremony, which contain a short biography of the deceased, their favourite (otherwise secret) recipes, their most cherished Buddhist scriptures, photographs, and anything else they wished to pass on before dying.

Then last week I stumbled upon a library of 3,000 of these Cremation Books!

I've been obsessed with Thai art and design since I first lived in Bangkok, all the way back in 2015. So much so that the cover of Exquisite Hours is Thai-inspired and The Creative Art of Wishfulness opens there.

The patterns, with the flames and the fractals and the snake-heads, are called “Lai Thai”, which just means “Thai Patterns”, but they're completely unique in world art.

Largely derived from the sculpted motifs at Angkor Wat, they now have a life of their own and are EVERYWHERE in Thailand—from menus to temple doors—and are Thailand’s contribution to the meagre beauty of the human world.

For the last week I've been scouring this library of 3,000 cremation books for Lai Thai designs, and have compiled over a dozen 5” x 8” pages like the one you see to your right. 

I don’t know where or when I’ll use them. But for now, they are just lovely to look at.
(And I acknowledge that the image I've included looks like a page out of a tattoo-design book.)

But that's Lai Thai—an aesthetic enthusiasm of mine that's been on the slow-burn for a while and has just received a splash of rocket fuel.


 A GOOD DEED

A GOOD DEED

24th October 2019


In the past when I’ve launched a novel I’ve spent months and months promoting it through excerpts, authorly silliness, and reader reviews.

But since I only and briefly pre-launched The Creative Art of Wishfulness (its full launch is in Feb 2020), I haven’t gotten very much feedback about my latest Comedy Novel.

And so I’m presently wondering—have you read it?!? Did you enjoy it? What did it lack? In what did it abound? Was it, above all, funny?!??

Direct feedback from readers is one of the great privileges of being an independent author, and if you did like The Creative Art of Wishfulness, if Alexandra Wishart’s bullcrap or Godfrey Lackland’s tribulations made you laugh—there’s one huge favour you might be able to do for this independent author….

An Amazon or Goodreads review!

As short or as long as you’d like, if you could find 5 minutes out of your week to head to Amazon or Goodreads, and leave an honest review and rating of the book, it would be immensely helpful to me as an author! Both as feedback for writing my next book, AND for convincing the not-yet-reader of Comedy Novels about their hilarious literary worth!

I'll even put the direct your-review-is-one-click-away links right here:–

A review of The Creative Art of Wishfulness; Amazon or Goodreads; your very kind deed for the week??

24th October 2019


In the past when I’ve launched a novel I’ve spent months and months promoting it through excerpts, authorly silliness, and reader reviews.

But since I only and briefly pre-launched The Creative Art of Wishfulness (its full launch is in Feb 2020), I haven’t gotten very much feedback about my latest Comedy Novel.

And so I’m presently wondering—have you read it?!? Did you enjoy it? What did it lack? In what did it abound? Was it, above all, funny?!??

Direct feedback from readers is one of the great privileges of being an independent author, and if you did like The Creative Art of Wishfulness, if Alexandra Wishart’s bullcrap or Godfrey Lackland’s tribulations made you laugh—there’s one huge favour you might be able to do for this independent author….

An Amazon or Goodreads review!

As short or as long as you’d like, if you could find 5 minutes out of your week to head to Amazon or Goodreads, and leave an honest review and rating of the book, it would be immensely helpful to me as an author! Both as feedback for writing my next book, AND for convincing the not-yet-reader of Comedy Novels about their hilarious literary worth!

I'll even put the direct your-review-is-one-click-away links right here:–

A review of The Creative Art of Wishfulness; Amazon or Goodreads; your very kind deed for the week??



ATHENS

23rd October, 2019


Athens is truly an incredible place, but for most of my trip to Greece, I was hampered by one thought:

I don’t really enjoy travel anymore.

Or more specifically, the enthusiasm I used to have for it—for discovering new places, new cultures, new arts, new backstreets, new islands, new people—has dwindled to the point of negligibility.

Partly this is due to the impending sense of doom  the world apparently wants to foist onto me. The feeling that the world’s going to end at any moment, that it already has ended. Europe’s population is declining, millions are arriving from Africa. What’s the point in reading a 3000-year-old play, or looking at an old church? The culture that created it, the people who worshipped in it, will be gone soon—are gone—never existed!

Partly it is due to the fact that I’ve travelled almost constantly for the last 4 and a half years. I’ve not spent more than 3 consecutive months in one place since 2014. Evelyn Waugh said, “At the age of 35 one needs to go to the moon, or some such place, to recapture the excitement with which one first landed at Calais.”

This is about how I feel about travel now.

I land in Athens and think, “Its temples do not shimmer as Bangkok’s do.” In Bangkok I think, “The canals are not clear, as Venice’s are.” I land in Venice and think, “It isn't as varied as London.” I land in London and think, “It has not one temple.” And I land in India and think, “Get me the fuck out of India.”

So the whirligig goes on, and the excitement I once got from racing around Venice for weeks on end can now nowhere be found.

I guess that’s part of the great dissipation of youth, which I do seem to have already stretched beyond its natural limit.

Is there anywhere still worth discovering? Or does wider experience necessarily lead to narrower excitement?


ATHENS

23rd October, 2019


Athens is truly an incredible place, but for most of my trip to Greece, I was hampered by one thought:

I don’t really enjoy travel anymore.

Or more specifically, the enthusiasm I used to have for it—for discovering new places, new cultures, new arts, new backstreets, new islands, new people—has dwindled to the point of negligibility.

Partly this is due to the impending sense of doom  the world apparently wants to foist onto me. The feeling that the world’s going to end at any moment, that it already has ended. Europe’s population is declining, millions are arriving from Africa. What’s the point in reading a 3000-year-old play, or looking at an old church? The culture that created it, the people who worshipped in it, will be gone soon—are gone—never existed!

Partly it is due to the fact that I’ve travelled almost constantly for the last 4 and a half years. I’ve not spent more than 3 consecutive months in one place since 2014. Evelyn Waugh said, “At the age of 35 one needs to go to the moon, or some such place, to recapture the excitement with which one first landed at Calais.”

This is about how I feel about travel now.

I land in Athens and think, “Its temples do not shimmer as Bangkok’s do.” In Bangkok I think, “The canals are not clear, as Venice’s are.” I land in Venice and think, “It isn't as varied as London.” I land in London and think, “It has not one temple.” And I land in India and think, “Get me the fuck out of India.”

So the whirligig goes on, and the excitement I once got from racing around Venice for weeks on end can now nowhere be found.

I guess that’s part of the great dissipation of youth, which I do seem to have already stretched beyond its natural limit.

Is there anywhere still worth discovering? Or does wider experience necessarily lead to narrower excitement?



SFAKIA

SFAKIA

20th October, 2019


A week in Sfakia, a province of southwestern Crete, famous for its independence, its stubborness, its brutality.

The only place in Crete never to have submitted to the Venetians or the Turks, once I heard about it I couldn’t not go. Though a Greek friend warned me—watch your jokes with that smart mouth, they still practise blood-feuds in Sfakia.

Well, after walking (I really take issue with the word hiking. It’s literally just walking with unnecessary  shit) after walking the canyon through which Evelyn Waugh in 1941 helped evacuate the Allied army, I heard tell of another, better, gorge, and went and WALKED that one too. The WALK started at Aradena, an abandoned village, left to crumble in the 1950s over a blood feud which began over a goat-bell.

Yes, you read correctly. A blood feud over a goat bell escalated so seriously they had to abandon an entire village. Goddam villagers. After coming across several Sfakian men, I can see how this might happen. They have zero sense of humour—didn't laugh at ONE of my jokes about their beards, their baggy shirts, their country's economy. 

But Crete is absolutely a land of goats. They're everywhere and they stink. And it has very wild and bandit-friendly places. And yoga seems somehow to have infiltrated the place. So as I was WALKING around Sfakia for 3 days I realised… a sequel to Exquisite Hours might very aptly take place here. With Anaïs Spencer lying to elderly German tourists and Hector Grieve a bandit in the mountains and Alexandra Wishart running a Cretan wellness retreat.

It could be called Goatland.

And just like that, 2021’s Comedy Novel has its first sketches made. Because of blood-feuds in Sfakia...

As a side note, what the fuck is honey? Is it bee piss? Bee spit? I know they take pollen back to their hives and do something with it. Do they have sex with it? Honey's not bee sperm is it? That's gross.

20th October, 2019


A week in Sfakia, a province of southwestern Crete, famous for its independence, its stubborness, its brutality.

The only place in Crete never to have submitted to the Venetians or the Turks, once I heard about it I couldn’t not go. Though a Greek friend warned me—watch your jokes with that smart mouth, they still practise blood-feuds in Sfakia.

Well, after walking (I really take issue with the word hiking. It’s literally just walking with unnecessary  shit) after walking the canyon through which Evelyn Waugh in 1941 helped evacuate the Allied army, I heard tell of another, better, gorge, and went and WALKED that one too. The WALK started at Aradena, an abandoned village, left to crumble in the 1950s over a blood feud which began over a goat-bell.

Yes, you read correctly. A blood feud over a goat bell escalated so seriously they had to abandon an entire village. Goddam villagers. After coming across several Sfakian men, I can see how this might happen. They have zero sense of humour—didn't laugh at ONE of my jokes about their beards, their baggy shirts, their country's economy. 

But Crete is absolutely a land of goats. They're everywhere and they stink. And it has very wild and bandit-friendly places. And yoga seems somehow to have infiltrated the place. So as I was WALKING around Sfakia for 3 days I realised… a sequel to Exquisite Hours might very aptly take place here. With Anaïs Spencer lying to elderly German tourists and Hector Grieve a bandit in the mountains and Alexandra Wishart running a Cretan wellness retreat.

It could be called Goatland.

And just like that, 2021’s Comedy Novel has its first sketches made. Because of blood-feuds in Sfakia...

As a side note, what the fuck is honey? Is it bee piss? Bee spit? I know they take pollen back to their hives and do something with it. Do they have sex with it? Honey's not bee sperm is it? That's gross.






(OCCASIONALLY CALLED, DUE TO A PROCLIVITY FOR 

DANIEL DAY LEWIS IMPERSONATIONS, "THE FIST")

JOSH WRITE BLOG.

Because social media can go cry in its totalitarian pie,
I present to you a blog, of sorts.

Giving you more insight into the erudition, gallivanting,
& outright foolishness that go into what I do,
The Fist is to be an opinionated chronicle and a humble collection of magnificence.

The newest points are at the top,
click [here] to fly all the way down to the oldest,
click on images to enlarge them, and enjoy!

And remember...

"Each of the 5 points is a finger.
When I close my hand it becomes a fist
."