"What should such fellows as we do, crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all."
As writers, I and my father are quite different, mainly in that my Old Man was world-class, whereas I, at best, am okay. However, looking for "One quote to join us both," the above is excellent; so excellent, actually, that it has inspired the title of our family chronicles - The Tale(s) of Two Knaves.
Whereas Senior could charm his readers out of the tree, I have to shake that same tree until some (probably initially unbalanced) reader comes tumbling to the ground, and even when that happens, he or she tends to do so not because of any "raw talent" on my part but because of my content, my unusual structure or because successfully disprove some long-held alleged incompatibility. However, all that shaking has made me pretty strong. I am logical, I have read a bit, I have done a lot of often quite insane things to become who I am, and rather than giving in to Mormon, I have made understanding (or, trying to understand, rather) my thing. This has turned me into a person who believes that he has managed to:
- Improve the old man's texts by giving them the content editing they originally did not receive, while translating and adapting them.
- Write two popular science books that explain the consequences of drug (supply) illegality: The Drug Problem & Drug Illegality: a Scam.
- Create a cool family chronicle out of 49 short stories and their corresponding bio-introductions: The Tale(s) of Two Knaves.
- Write books 1 and 2 in an adventure series where we follow the son of Odin in the 21st C: The Caspian Connection.
- Adapt Senior's bestseller/blockbuster My Uncle Jacinto into a children's book and script set in Cape Town: The Challenge.
- Turn Senior's novella back into the theater script that it once must have been: Doña Juana.
- Wangle my way into the lap of my would-become dream-girl at the age of less than two: Marilyn Monroe.
"Believe none of us"
Well, yes, maybe knaves shouldn't be trusted, but my thoughts about dysfunctional discourses, of which The Drug Problem is part 1, might have some believability attached to it. I have been thinking about why and how we ("we" as in we humankind) arrange ourselves dysfunctionally, and The Drug Problem aims to corroborate that there is at least one example of that we do so (the supply of illegal narcotic drugs is the only discourse I have known enough about to deliver myself of an opinion). Part 2 - Dysfunctional Discourses 2: How & Why - if I get around to write it, will try to answer the question posed above: How & Why. If I get around to write this book, maybe I should be, if not believed, at least listened to. As to Senior, he's a notorious liar (aka a good fiction writer) and should definitely not be believed.
Andres Laszlo Jr.
With The Seal Castle, Andres Laszlo introduces himself as a humorist of fertile imagination and abundant resources. The castle - that is really the famous Turkish Baths of Budapest, that sleeps an odd collection of characters that for different reasons have opted out of traditional accommodation - is seen from the point-of-view of the protagonist, whose real identity is never in doubt. Our protagonist sleeps in the baths as a way of being able to survive on the unbecomingly modest remuneration he receives from working as an actor. Read More
The Crab's Rhapsody. "Rhapsody" here refers to how the main character, in Paris during the time leading up to the German invasion of France, is dealing with his pacifism. This, just like The Seal Castle, appears to be a mainly autobiographic work, seen from the point-of-view of the protagonist, whose real identity is not in doubt. The book is set in the bohemian Paris; the monumental Paris, the tourist Paris, and a Paris that swiftly managed to forget about the traumas of the war. This novel makes the City of Light look as if almost exclusively composed of night cabarets, dangerous clubs, night performers, and quaint attics where more or less authentic artists heroically try not to die from starvation. Read More
Doña Juana. Malaga, in the mid-1940s, on the coast, always within the reach of the lighthouse’s beam, we find an old manner house. Let us enter: a band is playing, we find our way to the library where myopic Juanita tries to locate Don Juan Tenario in the hope of finding a way out of her predicament. Juanita – who, when we come to the end of the story, will have metamorphosed into Doña Juana – is the devastated daughter of the house: devastated because she has found out that her fiancé is about to elope. To make things worse, she gets to overhear the enamored couple planning their escape. Tears fall into the book in her lap – into the book she had come to read in the hope of finding a solution – as she realized that all is lost. “Oh Don Juan, if you only were here to advise me…” “But I am here.” “Who are you?” “I am Don Juan.” “Don Juan who?” “Just Don Juan.” Yes, that Don Juan, has traveled through space and time, to give the poor girl some assistance: to show her how to get out of her dilemma by teaching her the art of manipulating men, much as he once manipulated women. However, the girl turns out to be better at this thing called love than expected, and Don Juan soon finds himself enamored with the girl, who turns out to be a great puppet master and ruler of men's destinies. The foundation for a great musical is in place, and a script is available. Beware males of the species; Doña Juana has arrived! Read More
Only the Landscape Changes is an adaptation of Andres Laszlo Sr.’s collection of short stories, first published as Solo el Paisaje Cambia in 1952 and later as Tout Passe in French. You will find that he has led quite an adventurous and entertaining life, at least when he did not appear to be on his way to be accused of being a vampire or getting bamboozled by a prophet. Many of these stories read like treatments/scenarios, something that stems from a desire to make them interesting to producers. This text is available: 1. As part one of The Tale(s) of Two Knaves, and 2. In The Complete Works of Andres Laszlo Sr.
Mother Unknown. Kurt, our protagonist, escapes the war and goes to live in Tangier, just across from Gibraltar, less than five minutes as the rocket flies. One night, an anonymous hand leaves a letter together with a three- or four-year-old boy at our protagonist’s door. “Lieber Kurt, I’ve sent you your son…” says the letter. Where there should have been a signature, there’s nothing but emptiness, and it’s the silence of this emptiness that prompts this great drama in our protagonist’s life. Kurt – a man who has sworn off all memories, all scraps of love and affection – finds himself forced to retrieve a long-forgotten fragment of his past – only he doesn’t know which. He narrows it down to three possibilities: Naples, Paris, and Avila, and as the war comes to an end, he goes in search of his son’s mother. Read More
My Uncle Jacinto was not only a bestselling book but also a blockbuster movie, featuring Pablito Calvo and Antonio Sica in the leading roles. It is a book for children of all ages and depicts a special day in the lives of down-and-nearly-out ex-bullfighter Jacinto and Pepote, his streetwise nephew. Honor is one antagonist, crime is another, booze a third, and separation a fourth (and sort of the common denominator). For long, things look pretty bleak for Jacinto. He is down and out, he is broke, he has been ridiculed in front of what he feels is the better part of Madrid, and he has lost his main reason to live, his honor, in front of the boy who is the only important person in his life, and who is about to be taken away from him. Don’t be silly, of course, it has a happy ending, sort of…, maybe…, if you choose to read it that way. Read More
Paco Never Fails is set in Madrid – a place Andres Laszlo Sr. knows and paints well – in the early 1940s i.e, during World War II, just after the end of the Spanish Civil War. Here we meet Paco Garcia who makes his living by mating with young girls from the countryside: girls who after unplanned pregnancies have come to Madrid to make better lives for themselves as wet-nurses and therefore need the milk to keep on flowing. Though this impregnation was an occupation that seldom gets talked about, at the time this was a very real profession, and the ‘impregnator’ most likely to succeed i.e. ‘never fails’ became the one highest in demand. However, Paco has failed one time, so when his wife finally does become pregnant, this father of thousands is forced to ask himself… Oh yes, there’s a murder mystery in there, if you can spot it. Read More
The Complete Works of Andres Laszlo Sr. Andres Laszlo Senior was a successful script-writer with one blockbuster and two other movies - in addition to seven fictional titles, all in Spanish translated into 10 languages by now - to his name. All published in the 1940s and 50s by Plaza Janes, and later by many other publishers in various languages. These seven titles have now all been digitalized while adapted, while they were translated into English. Much of the translation and all of the adaptation was done by the writer’s son, a writer himself, Andres Laszlo Jr. Read More
The Tales of Two Knaves is a collection of short stories emanating from two sources. First, from Andres Laszlo Senior’s collection of short stories, Solo el Paisaje Cambia, published in 1952. Second, stories coming out of Junior’s life, many taken from/inspired by either his adventure series The Caspian Connection or from his book on drug policy: The Drug Problem. This collection is of 49 stories. Readers will find that both, Senior and Junior, have led adventurous and quite entertaining lives. At least when they did not appear to be on their way to be thrown to the wolves, get accused of vampirism, or getting executed by General Noriega’s drug-trafficking police. The stories are structured to provide 110 years of continuity and each story is prefaced by an introductory biographic paragraph, so eventually, you will get to know these two knaves quite well. And, yes, there is a tiger in here, who likes humans a bit too much. Read More
The Tale(s) of Two Knaves II is collected/adapted from three sources. 1. Some are taken from Junior's yet-to-be-published adventure series The Caspian Connection, 2. A few are taken from his book on drug policy: The Drug Problem & 3. Some are new creations. You will find that Junior has led an adventurous and - at least when he did not appear to be on his way to becoming tiger-snack, or executed by General Noriega's narco-traffickers - quite entertaining life. Some of these stories read like treatments/scenarios, something that reflects his wish to make them interesting to producers. Read More
The Challenge is inspired by my father’s (Andres Laszlo Sr.) bestselling My Uncle Jacinto/Mi Tio Jacinto which was also a blockbuster movie (starring Pablito Calvo & Antonio Sica and directed by Ladislao Vajda). About the original story, a prominent Paris newspaper wrote; "Nothing like this has been written since The Little Prince." In my hands: Madrid becomes Cape Town; La Quinta, Mandela Park; 1940s, 2010s; bullfighting, boxing, and 17,000 words, 75,000. However, it very much remains a book for children of all ages. The text also is available as a film script. Read More
The Caspian Connection. In these two books (The Seventh Lot and A Question of Honour) we follow Karli - Odin's son, though Karli does not know that - in his adventures. This is simply too big a project to present in its entirety. It is not until now (mid-June 2021) that the books have been made presentable in English (and Swedish).
This adventure series (as they borrow from Norse mythology and Islam) has back- and hidden- stories with the potentiality to become of a volume and complexity comparable to those of The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien solved this exposition problem through two “big bookends”: The Hobbit as a soft intro, and Silmarillion as caviar for the generals. As I have yet not created that much back/hidden story, I believe that I so far have gotten away with taking a different approach: I shook, stirred, and poured it into two books (excuse my unbecoming comparison). My two first books - The Seventh Lot and A Question of Honour - thus (in my mind) correspond to Tolkien’s bookends, plus the first book in his trilogy. Read More
Andres Laszlo Jr. has long been a proponent of two main arguments i.e. ‘Illegalization of narcotic drugs causes a lot of bad things and very few good’ and ‘Money is becoming the measure of what it shouldn’t be allowed to become the measure of.’ Yet, he always felt that there are people better suited than him to get onto their soapboxes to deplore and explain this bad stuff, or ‘dysfunctionalities,’ as he thinks of them. Not until the early 2010s, did he realize that the fact that money is becoming the measure of what it should not be, could be the important reason why drug illegality is not repealed. Realizing this, that his two pet bugbears could be seen as if riding in tandem, he gathered his notes, put pen to paper, and wrote a book on the only example of dysfunctional discourses on which, he figured, he had something interesting to say. Read More
Drug illegality is bad, drug illegality is a scam, drug illegality is an example of a dysfunctional discourse, and drug illegality is the main cause of what you think of as “the drug problem”. And, at the end of this book/short-stories-collection, I will assist you in coming to the conclusion that it is so, whether you believe it right now, or not. Drug supply illegality does result in higher prices and thus less use, true, but not in the way you thought but at a terrible cost. Read book part.
In 1991 I wrote Svenskt Konstglas. It was an exorbitantly expensive coffee table book, designed to make: 1. Myself rich (enough to embark on my all-those-things-a-man-should-have-done project), and 2. My fellow Swedes aware that Orrefors art glass 1925 – 1950 (apart from the Vikings’ wood and silver artifacts) is the only thing we Swedes have ever, at least indisputably, been best at, when it comes to arts and crafts. Read More
My research has long centered on drug policy, a subject on which I have a liberal view; not because I like drugs, but because I think illegalization causes a lot more bad stuff than a more liberal approach would. Also, have some rather strong views on my fellow Swedes’ lack of interest in their cultural heritage in general, and about their neglect of their art glass/Orrefors in particular. The talks outlined below - whether in the shape of seminars, lectures or something more informal - I am ready to give in English, Swedish or Spanish. Read More
I started playing bridge late in life (as Andres Cid), but I soon had the luck to pick up as a partner what I think of as possibly the best bridge player in the world when it comes to analysis (Magnus Lindquist). We played for half a year or so, and we might have been on our way into the Swedish National Team (he got there with Bjorn Fallenius shortly after we split up), and I won ten coronas from Hans Olof Hallén as I betted that at least one of us would get there within a year. I was at the time thinking about making a career out of bridge – as I liked the game, and as I had found myself a world-class partner - but as there are some pretty disgusting sine qua non, I figured I’d go to Spain to think about it for a week. Read More