Monday, May 08, 2006

I've met famous people

I met Kathy Acker once, she gave a talk in a lecture room in the Helsinki University. She was already very ill, and had this fragile feel about her. She was clearly a little uncomfortable about the formal setting of the talk, and I suppose the Finnish crowd though quite big and certainly interested, was, in true Kaurismäkiän way, rather silent. I shook her hand afterwards and said, in the undying words of a true poet, "I really like your work."

I met Prince Edward too, at a function at the British Embassy, when His Highness was visiting Helsinki on a "promoting youth activity" trip. I was 34 and was invited, formally, as a representative of the theatrical ex-pat community. They probably didn't notice I was an ex-ex-pat, having returned to the country of my origin, and not a Brit abroad at all. We were coming into production with Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends at the time, and I said to the prince, "Too bad you're not here next week, Your Highness, you could've come to see our show." And blushed. Deary, deary me.

© 2006 Anna MR


nmj said...

Am ashamed to say I don't know Kathy Acker's work, though her name is slightly familiar!

Anna MR said...

Nothing to be ashamed of, it's sort of feminist punky semi-gothy with erotic tendencies anarcholiterature. I am not sure I am that crazy about it now (haven't had a look at her stuff for around ten years), but I dug her in my (early) twenties. I happened upon her first novel, Empire of the Senseless, in a London library, never having heard of her or in fact anyone who wrote like that. It was a bit of a mindblow experience for a small-city East European girl.