from pathos to paranoia


I am a regular if not exactly enthusiastic patron of my local bookshop. I try to buy at least some books there because I cling to the belief that it’s important to maintain those businesses which put a human face on the exchange of money for goods and services.

What I’m trying to say is that this is a functioning relationship, albeit one of a circumscribed kind: I write books; they sell books; I buy books from them (although not my own, because I know what’s in those ones already).

No, I thought, it’s true: this man has been doing these Shrigleyesque drawings and writings for years now, and he is doomed to utter obscurity, whereas David Shrigley probably lives high on the hog, sipping Kir Royal cocktails from the bra cups of deeply aroused and admiring Hollywood stars. Yes, this man – and perhaps thousands of other men and women – will labour away at their shriggles, yet be unable to gain any purchase on the public realm.

In conclusion, then, there are many, many Shrigleys out there; some of them are mutants – others are not wholly viable, still more may be necessary in their own strange way, but there is only one essential Shrigley.

Will Self – The Essential David Shrigley

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