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The Brentford Mercury

The Robert Rankin Interview

A long distance telephone conversation with Robert Rankin

by James Bacon


Testing testing...

R: Shall I go testing 1,2,3 and you run it back or anything like that?

J: No, I think itís working at this stage.

J: O.K. Robert, could you tell me something about your next book which is yet to be released, ĎSprout Mask Replicaí?

R: Alright, it started life as an autobiography because itís full of various anecdotes about things that happened to me in my childhood. There are too many things which I would have liked to have happened which didnít happen, and so in no time at all, it begins to spread. The premise of it is the butterfly chaos theory, you know, the idea the butterfly flaps its wings in the air and causes the paper shop to burn down in Huddersfield, the old basic theory of chaos theory.

J: Yes, I know that.

R: Well, my idea was that if you had a man who could do that and, you know, if he moves a biro across to one side of his pocket it causes a fluctuation on the Stock Exchange, that kind of thing, yeah? So, I am that very man in the book and I try and use my powers for, you know, good and happiness and all the rest of it. But of course the basic thing about chaos theory is it causes chaos, the butterfly never actually makes anything good happen, it only ever makes, sort of, chaos happen. And so the man who sets out to cause world peace, by putting paper clips up his sleeves, eventually causes the downfall of entire civilizations. And thatís the, sort of basic premise of the book.

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