As of 9PM, at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015, Whimsy will perform a final reading from his Affected Provincial’s Companion, lie down on the velvet-draped plinth, and then pass through this veil of mud and tears, once and for all. Tonight I finally depart Whimsy Island, my course set for some far-flung shore, where I will scuttle the ship and take with me whatever is still useful. Much of what you may have enjoyed of my work in the past will come with me. My pen name will not be among them.
Now that I’ve finally laid all of my Whimsy-related affairs to rest, it’s time to move on. Had things not gone so surprisingly well, I would have moved on sooner. Mainly, I had to wait out the ongoing developments with the four consecutive film options that Johnny Depp and his production company so generously bestowed on me. There were also some dealings and doings regarding a possible television project, but that too has now run its course. I remain grateful for the experiences and opportunities, but having all of that behind me comes as a relief.
I still have a backlog of unpublished Whimsy material, and I would have liked to have published a second volume, but circumstances prevented that from happening, and the window of opportunity passed. At this point, the impulse has expended itself. Frankly, I’m amazed that Bloomsbury published the first volume at all; the possibility of anyone releasing such a weird little book in today’s publishing world is slim to none, as far as I can tell. Even if I did trim off the more idiosyncratic edges and clunky excesses, there remains the matter of there being just so much of this kind of “modern gentleman” stuff floating around, now. Too much, really. I preferred the subject when it was a bit more marginal and fresh.
This project began as a lark, but ended up becoming an occupation: the mask became a hat. Over time I began to feel like an odd sort of clergyman: a witch doctor with a necktie. Throughout the years of being Whimsy, I often felt like I was hiding in plain sight: even I don’t know just how much of the real me was ever on display—probably much more than I care to admit. Suffice it to say that we sometimes become what we pretend to be.
I’d like to sincerely and humbly thank those of you who followed my blogs, corresponded with me, and bought my books over the years. I’ve learned a great deal from all of you, and I hope you’ve had as much fun reading my nonsense as I’ve had making it. There will be more nonsense to come, albeit with less velvet (even old Oscar had to ditch the knickers, eventually). My next incarnation will be something far less shrill, and far more sustainable over the long term–but it will still be good fun. So keep checking in, I’m working on it. I can be found here if you’d like to follow my most recent projects.
Again, thank you and farewell. Vive la bagatelle.