Introduction: A few facts about Ivan O’Uris
(Which is probably more than you wanted to know, but we don’t give a shit)
Notes by Mark Moyer, E.E. Pointer and Shawn Roney
Ivan O’Uris was born in Luscia (pronounced LUSH – as in “Why don’t you get off your fat, lazy ass and get a job, you drunken ...” – and UH – as in “Uh, what was I supposed to get from the store?”), an uncharted island in the North Atlantic mostly known for its wine made from tree bark and an abnormal fascination with Charlie’s Angels reruns. The island was founded by people from Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Spain, China, Ireland and Algeria, all of whom arrived there at the same time. Keeping the country’s melting pot history in mind, Ivan’s parents, named Mr. and Mrs. O’Uris, christened him Ivan von Slovsky Gutierrez Xing Pho Mumbotopo O’Uris XIII. To save his teachers from getting writer’s cramp from writing his name in the attendance book, he was called Ivan O’Uris for short – or I. O’U. for even shorter.
O’Uris’ writing career began in grade school, when he began penning school plays for his classmates to perform. All of them reflected his early influences: 1970s American crime dramas and situation comedies, which were broadcast over Luscian television. In some of them, he blatantly copied lines from shows such as Police Woman and Charlie’s Angels. These petty acts of plagiarism have haunted him to this day, not because he copied another’s words, but because he can’t believe he had the bad taste to crib from someone like Aaron Spelling.
O’Uris’ writing career took off in high school as a staff writer for the island newspaper, The Luscian O’Buenklava (“O’Buenklava” is an Old Luscian word meaning, “Paper best used for lining one’s birdcage.”). He moved to the U.S. Midwest at age 19, when his number was drawn in a lottery to select an individual to leave the island for 25 years to help keep the population at 12,000 and prevent the island from sinking. Since his immigration here, he has continued writing as The Luscian O’Buenklava’s U.S. correspondent, contributing essays and creative writing. He also has continued to pursue his passion of singing Broadway musical scores from the 1930s to wild turkeys, but that’s unimportant.
The introduction originally appeared (in altered form) in the October-December 1997 issue of Lies Magazine. To obtain a hard copy of the issue … you should probably contact someone who collects old zines, because Lies Magazine folded years ago. However, to see what was in that issue, visit www.aidabet.com/LIES/L15Ivan.html.
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