It’s illogical, I
For years, Leonard N imoy has struggled to break free from his alter ego, Star Trek’s Mr Spock. He has finally relinquished with his latest autobiography I Am Spock, as he explains to Ann Donald.
Spock: l was born in the year 2230 on the planet Vulcan. to Sarek of Vulcan and Amanda of Earth.
Nimoy: Wrong again! You were born in the year I966 on a Desilu sound stage in Hollywood. California.
Spock: I suggest you recheck your data.
Nimoy: I don't have to Spock. l was there.
Leonard Nimoy — all human —— punctuates much of his autobiography [xiiil Spock with these vignettes of verbal sparring conducted between himself and his alter—ego Spock half human. half Vulcan.
The book's title is a final affrrnuition ofthe unique television character whose green blood has metaphorically transfused with Nimoy's over their 30-year alliance. lt is also an attempt to placate those die-hard Trekkies enraged by Nimoy's first memoir] Am Nol Spock . published in 1975. For these legions of sad ~~ sorry. dedicated — aficionados, Nimoy had commited the ultimate galactic/our pos by outrageously spurning the very Vulcan starship officer who had beamed him into superstardom on
Leonard lllmoy ls Spock
the Stars/rip Enterprise.
Not at all. counters i 'imoy. ‘()ne of the reasons I'm writing this book is so I can forever put those ugly and unfounded rumours to rest. Here it is in print: I don't hate the Vulcan. In fact I've always been downright fond of him . . . 1 like and respect and admire him.‘
What this latest ‘fascinaiing' memoir does is log Nimoy‘s career from pre to post-Spock phases. From his guest spot on Gene Rodenberry‘s television series The Lieutenant and the beginning of a long. stormy relationship between the two men. to the spilling of all those behiml-ihe-scenes Vulcanalia facts and Star Trek family spats. Nimoy's personal view of The If/Ilerprr'se‘s transition froin underrated TV pilot to TV world domination and a clutch of mega—grossing films is interwoven with a roll-call on those acting
and directing projects that called for more than a raised eyebrow, the donning of pointy ears. a quick debilitating neck pinch or a mental mind meld.
Though it‘s all very interesting. chewing the literary fat with Nimoy as he regales us with his stage performances as King Arthur in Camelot. Tevye in bit/(Her ()II The Roof and mixed directorial reception with Three Men And A Baby or The Good Mother, it‘s really only when he is quizzed about his interesting analysis of Star Trek's massive popularity that his gravelly voice registers interest. For Nimoy. his 1960s statement that ‘Stur Trek offered hope to a generation that had grown up haunted by the spectre of nuclear war‘ is as relevant now as it was then.
‘Here it is in print: I don’t hate the Vulcan. In fact I’ve always been downright fond of him . . . I like
and respect and admire him.’
‘Sror Trek offers a future easier to cope with, where right and wrong are very clear — what's true is true, what‘s right is right. what‘s real is real and there's always a sense of social justice.’ he reasons. ‘lt's really a very desirable place to be . . . The issues in Star Trek weren‘t as complicated as they are today where there is so much political rhetoric going on and politicians are constantly putting a spin on everything.‘
Nimoy is currently content to occupy himself with writing poetry — ‘very personal and rornantic' — collaborating with Isaac Asimov on a comic book Prime Moria/s, devoting more attention to his family and generally ‘slacking off‘. The only memento he treasures from those halcyon days in the stratosphere are ‘those ears from 1968' which he plans to bequeath to his grandchildren. May be live long and prosper.
I Am Spock by Leonard Nrmoy is published by Century (1! £76.99. See book eve/its.
norm:— Gay area
In 1987, a telegram was sent to a London conference on lesbian and gay writing. Responding to an invitation to the event, prominent French novelist Yves llavarre stated simply: ‘I am gay. I am a writer, I am not a gay writer.’ It proved a divisive statement for many of the attending authors.
For years it was possible to say gay writers needed to be homogenised, needed an outlet for work that was being ignored by all the big publishing houses. Breakthroughs by authors like Edmund White and Armistead Maupin, crossing over from gay to straight — both in terms of audiences and publishers — have been unusual, although Bloomsbury, Seeker and Warburg and Penguin all have identified gay writers on their lists.
Authors Graeme Woolaston and Christopher Whyte appear to have
Graeme Woolaston: ‘Gay publlshers are
much in common. Both live in Scotland, are gay and explore gay sexuality in their work. Scratch
beneath the surface of their brief dustiacket biographies and differences soon appear. Woolaston, with two books released by gay publishers, is adamant about how he wants to be described: ‘lam a gay
writer and it drives me up the wall to
more likely to experlment.’
hear writers agreeing with that Naval"! quote - it is lust 3" attempt ‘0 5 voices,’ he says. ‘Everybody needs to distance themselves from the negative hea, what 93, voices have to say;
influences of being gay.’ Whyte,
however, disagrees: ‘Labels have a usefulness in specific situations, not
in general, and I would like to be
thought of as many things - a gay
writer, a Scottish writer, a magical
Woolaston is ambivalent about the pros and cons of ‘niche’ publishing. . ‘The drawback is that the readership ! is defined,’ he says, ‘but I do think i mainstream publication of gay work is g to be welcomed, provided a class ,1 i system is not being operated. The . danger is that you are not considered ; to be successful if you are not ? published in the mainstream.’ lie fears mainstream publishers will hear only
M, - the voices they want to hear: ‘Gay
; experiment, to take risks.’
g publishers are still more likely to i i Whyte is careful to aim his work at a
Christopher Whyte; ‘A gay wrlter, a Scottish 1 wider public than an exclusively gay writer. a maolcal writer! ? one. ‘Gay people are part of the larger
% community and, as far as publishing goes, the mainstream needs new
; Euphemia MacFarigIe And The
Laughing Virgin, by Christopher
; Whyte, is published by Bellancz at
£15.99. The Biker Below The Downs,
i by Graeme Woolesfon, is published by Millivres at £8.50.
The List l7—30 Nov I995 81