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My What a Tangled Web We Weave, When We Practice Not to Deceive

My book Dandy in the Underworld came out across America yesterday. Thirty-one years ago Marc Bolan's album Dandy in the Underworld was released on the same day. It's for you Marc.

America is going potty. TV shows. New York Times Book Review, Village Voice, whole page in the LA Times. And much much more. I am so tired. Of being admired. I have been offering myself gift wrapped to the world. Every day for the last two months I have been either interviewed, filmed or photographed. Even I am getting bored of talking about myself. I fear I am an amateur narcissist after all. I am sure it won't last and I shall finally give in to my narcissism and marry myself.

Does Christ never get tired of bleeding? I'm sure he does — but the show must go on.

I arrive in the USA next week. God knows how they shall take me. Does getting shot hurt? Actually, I am sure the marksman will be dazzled by the sight of me and consequently miss.

In truth if I do not return it will only be because I have been murdered by love. Like Quentin Crisp, I have always felt American in my artificial heart. We are all English at puberty; we die American.

I've always felt the book would do better over there. I hate Britain 's rugged will to lose. In America , they love a loser turned winner as much as we love the opposite. As St. Quentin knew: it is because of our hearts. The English have shriveled hearts. The Americans plump, peachy, warm ones. Success in England inspires only envy. In America: hope.

It is because life for the Americans is always becoming, never being.

It is because of the cruelty of England and the generosity of America. In America people will only come to see you if they like you, if they wish you well. In England they will come because they despise you, to laugh at you.

It is because Americans are unafraid of being positive.

Poor old England; sometimes negativity don't pull you through.

I broadcast to 12 million of the US nation this week. Harper tells me that All Things Considered is probably the biggest radio show in all of the US.

The lady producer liked me.

I said to her:

"Can I get my cock out on live radio?"

There was a deadly silence. "Oh No" I thought! "I've blown it!"

Then suddenly she said:


Twelve million yanks is like one brilliant Brit really isn't it? Me. You see, what is good about England is that it prepares you for the world. Censure and criticism never hurt anybody. If false, they can't hurt you unless you are a wimp, and if true, they show a man his weak points, and forewarn him against failure and trouble. It is through the snipers and vipers that we develop ourselves. Only the best get through so by the time we arrive in America we are ready to rule the world.

And rule it I shall. I have lost my reins and shall begin my reign. I am off to America for a week. I am sure everyone will be expecting me to go by boat and as I sail through the harbour, 'Wilde-like,' announce, 'I have nothing declare but my genius.' But I am not Oscar Wilde.

No darling, Whoresley-like I shall announce, "I have nothing to declare but my genitals."

"My heinous, genius, penis."

Bon Mot Voyage

© Photo credit Nick Cunard
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This blog entry was written the week before Sebastian Horsley, author of the just published memoir Dandy in the Underworld, was due to travel to America for a few appearances and media interviews. Due to unforeseen events, which you can read about in full detail here in the New York Times or here in the LA Times, Sebastian was deemed to be suffering from "Moral Turpitude", questioned for several hours, and returned back to his home in London. The series of blog posts that follow this week were written before, during and after Horsley's Moral Turpitude crisis. On Thursday and Friday, we will post video messages to you, the Powell's reader, recorded from Horsley's SoHo flat in London, where he leads his life quietly. Well, not quietly enough, apparently. —Carrie, Publisher, Harper Perennial

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Sebastian Horsley has done just about everything you could ever think of. Incredibly, he is still alive. He lives in Soho, London and has written for The Observer, New Statesmen, and The Independent, and he ran a monthly column for The Erotic Review.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Dandy in the Underworld: An... Used Trade Paper $4.95

Sebastian Horsley is the author of Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography (P.S.)

One Response to "My What a Tangled Web We Weave, When We Practice Not to Deceive"

    Ernest P. Worthing March 24th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I've been waiting all week for these posts, though I fear Sebastian may be the slightest bit bitter about the events of late. Let's hope this experience doesn't sour him on all things American-- or we'll have to somehow manage to unpucker his kisser.

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