The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

December 20, 2006


For some weird reason everybody whom I have so far sold a copy of Messages from the lost continent has asked me if that's me on the cover.

Let's for a moment forget that the person on the cover does not even remotely look like me. Let's leave aside that I have hair loss in the exact opposite place than the person on the cover. Let's leave aside that the person asking the question is usually standing rght in front of me, getting a good look at both the cover photograph and me. Let's not even take into consideration that using a photograph taken by somebody else on a book cover is a copyright nightmare.

Let's just consider this:

I consider myself extremely unphotogenic. Anybody who has ever tried to take a picture of me and actually managed to survive can tell stories of violence and mayhem. There exist only about a dozen photos of me, all taken against my will. In fact, compared to the amount of pictures that exist of me, Ernst Haas was a model.

On the other hand, I have an archive of thousands of pictures that I have taken. As a child, I wanted to become a photographer, and I'm still angry at myself that I didn't pursue this more insistently, especially considering that I did get some of my photographs exhibited at one point.

So I ask you: which is more likely -- that it's me on the picture or that it's me who took the picture?

Strangely enough, most of the people who ask that stupid question think they know me.

Posted by Horst on December 20, 2006 08:07 PM to books & bookkeeping | Tell-a-friend
dieter said on December 22, 2006 10:31 AM:

Well, judging from the picture on the internet, the person on the picture is just unrecognizable enough that it _could_ be you (or any other middle aged male of about the same proportions). And you have to admit that people who know you rarely look at you from behind while you are wearing a long cloak ;-)

However, your explication rises another question: Did you take the picture for the occasion, or did you add the cloak by photoshop, along with the clock and the giant ant?

Anyways, it *is* a great cover.

Jann said on December 22, 2006 11:08 AM:

Some questions I think are merely reflexive in nature, as when someone looks at a picture of a couple celebrating an important wedding anniversary and asks, "Is this their twenty-fith or their fiftieth?", when the couple in question appear to be no older than their late forties.

scotty said on December 22, 2006 11:31 PM:

I don't think I asked if it was you; I just assumed it was you ;-)

Jann said on December 23, 2006 09:21 PM:

I have to admit that I also considered briefly whether the picture on the cover might be you, but decided that, as you said, it doesn't really look like you. Then I wondered if it might be mig.

I also think that everything that dieter said is true, and that he said it very well.

My conclusion: you are judging the people who asked this innocuous question rather too harshly.

Lucid said on December 24, 2006 12:55 AM:

Ha ha ha! Great entry!

mig said on December 24, 2006 10:51 PM:

It's probably not me. I'm sure I would remember. And I also hate having my picture taken.

ph said on December 30, 2006 07:35 PM:

Um, I didn't ask you. (And I never thought it could be you.)

Comments have been closed for this entry.

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