Brit Test: Rauan Klassnik



by Russell Bennetts

I am writing a book with Rauan Klassnik. It’s 22 stories about Taylor Swift. It’s called Foxconn Suicide. However, for every mention of tea, he adds a reference to coffee. For every meal of fish and chips, a character has to order a hot dog. I’m beginning to doubt that Rauan’s even British. It’s a-time to put him to the test.

1) How do you feel about Boadicea?

All I know about Britain comes from Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances. So I can only assume that “Boadicea” is one of Hyacinth’s sisters and while I love Hyacinth’s sisters they are absolutely not Hyacinth: a star, a Goddess, an ethos.

Britain, beautiful, blossoming and bodacious: big as a house for 10 million ponies.

2) How do you feel about Shakespeare?

Harold Bloom, similar to Hyacinth in groveling, soul and heart, says that Shakespeare invented us all. And so every time I sit down and put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard — and sprout a heap of imaginary DNA (seething and redolent) — you can blame it on the guy who beast with two backed it.

Britain, where “daddy” runs about naked in the grimy rain. O, daddy. O, poor, poor daddy.

3) How do you feel about Gladstone?

Is that one of the Harry Potter movies? Sometimes, I crush all those Potters up into a fine dust. And then I snort that dust and go Caber Toss at one of those big, grand Highland Games (you should see me in a kilt! No ordinary pale, pimpled, island lad!)

Britain where the Viking blood runs fierce as a Poppy on a Match-of-The-Day lapel.

4) How do you feel about Thatcher/Blair?

I don’t like sheep waking me up in the morning with their Dylan Thomas cancer coughs. But I do like them hanging in shop windows, like devastated Bacon bits. And I do like the statue in the old House of Cards. Speaking of which I liked — no, “adore” — the rats by the Thames, etc, in that old British version of that House of Cards. I can’t imagine why they left the rats out of the bloated and creepy-crawly Kevin Spacey version which nonetheless has been crawling through my brain and blood.

Britain, pink as Jonathan Ross’s flagrant knees. A whale shark sunning off the coast of Skye.


5) How do you feel about Dragon’s Lair (on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum)?

I’m all about fire, daisies, chains, etc, and so when I’m really zoned into Dragon’s Lair I imagine that I’m ensconced, with Hyacinth Bouquet, in an old castle basement, growing enormously obese and perverted as we act out increasingly repellent gourmand fantasies. And now (o, how naughty!!) Hyacinth, pushes a periwinkle china pin into her bum and the fat dribbles on the fire and the pink dragon (great British History, Empire and all) comes leaping out of the flames like an elephant George Orwell shot in reverse.

Britain, of the Hedgehog Hospital and the blue blood T.S. Eliot sucked at to save his sniveling soul.

6) How do you feel about payday loans?

I think the money shot, not just in porn, but also in flower shops and old Roman Baths, greyhound pubs, dart orgies, Spice Girl reunion tours, sailboat regattas, coronations, Grand Nationals, etc, is essential to the health of the English tongue.

Britain of a blurred Thames bracing at my blood. Fluff. Fluff. Like a pound note wrapped round a tulip stem.

7) How do you feel about a rainy cafe in Kentish Town on a Tuesday?

Kent’s given me about 17, 523 STDs that only Lionel Hardcastle might heal with his sultry thighs. (And maybe Jean could help a little too.) It was a leaky boat we dragged on shore and then all the way across Hadrian’s crumbling walls. But then I turned the rain into fire.

Britain of fog where Hugh MacDiarmid is still out there fishing like a Puffin. He gets a visit from a young upstart Irishman. Her name is Hyacinth Bouquet.

O, Britain I can taste you on my fingers.


About Rauan Klassnik:

Rauan Klassnik is the author of two Black Ocean books: Holy Land (2008) and The Moon’s Jaw (2013). His Sky Rat releases from Spork at the end of this February. Rauan likes to tweet and blogs for HTMLGIANT.