Monday, January 19, 2004

Coming Soon - Drunken Banker Week

Money is, to most people, a serious thing. They expect financial architecture to reflect this quality - to be somber and serious, never light or frivolous. The same, it may be added, is true of bankers. Doctors, though life itself is in their hand, may be amusing. In Decline and Fall Evelyn Waugh even has one who is deeply inebriated. A funny banker is inconceivable. Not even Waugh could make plausible a drunken banker.
John Kenneth Galbraith, Money - Whence It Came, Where It Went

When I read this passage, sometime around the middle of last week, my first response was "Oh, Really?" Galbraith may know a lot about economics but it seemed to me that there were no good reasons to believe that a drunken banker could not be presented as a plausible character in literature.

I've already had a crack at a couple of pastiches presenting drunken bankers in the styles of noted authors. As soon as I get hold of Evelyn Waugh's Scoop, I'll be ready for a third. Once I have five, I'll be presenting Drunken Banker week here at Tugboat Potemkin, with one drunken banker for each day of the week. I expect this to start next Monday but the sad precedent of Ten Greatest Bungles of Australian History post suggests that it would be foolish to promise this.

While I was writing the two drunken banker pieces completed to date it occurred to me, naturally enough, that others might want to take a stab at depicting a drunken banker in the style of a well known author. This may simply be vanity on my part, but I'll be linking to any drunken banker posts which I notice around the blogosphere. I'm much more likely to notice them, of course, if I get an e-mail telling me where to find them.

If you're wondering which authors I've already parodied in the two existing drunken banker pieces, or whose writing style I might be borrowing besides that of Evelyn Waugh, I've decided not to tell you. This might lead to unfortunate duplication but, on the other hand, you might produce something better than I already have. In which case I might find myself looking around for another couple of authors to plagiarise.

Update: in response to a comment from dj, I'd just like to make it clear that the word "author" above should be understood in the wider sense of "novelist, poet, playwright etc".

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