The Fifty Year Declin an Fa l o oll wo
My copy of Ezra Goodman’s marvellous The Fifty Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood, which I bought for about 25p on Amazon and which arrived smelling of cabbage, is disintegrating as I read it.
I feel like Rod Taylor! No, my voice has not assumed the guttural tones of the Antipodean, nor has my nose exploded into a bulging sculpture of gesticulating cartilage, like an arthritic shadow puppet cast in flesh.
I’m thinking of Rod’s struggle with the sum total of human knowledge in George Pal’s moving and intelligent THE TIME MACHINE, where Rod touches many a dusty volume of forgotten lore which hasn’t been read in a thousand years, only for them to flake and powder into vaporous nothingness under the pressure of his hulking Aussie digits.
So I may be the last human to read this particular copy of this particular book, which has a sad finality about it. But not as sad as it’ll be if the creeping decomposition outdistances my reading speed. Better CRACK ON.
(Shouldn’t be mean about Rod — he gives a beautifully sensitive performance in TIME MACHINE, not to mention the rest of his enviable career.)