“Modern Man never ceases to amaze me. Has he no dignity?”
-Scott Hobbs Bourne
Scott Bourne has lived a life like one you’ve only seen in movies. Movies that you probably weren’t really buying into 100%, the whole suspension-of-disbelief thing being a bridge too far. Scott could probably be thought of as a renaissance man, but that doesn’t really apply, because I don’t think anything applies. He’s not a square peg or anything so trite, but something more like an indefinably shaped thing, whatever it is.
Bourne upside down. Photo by Sem Rubio.
If you don’t know already, Scott Bourne is a former professional skateboarder, he was part of the anti corpo Consolidated team, and today he’s a current husband / father / writer living in Paris where he also is a successful model. Scott’s the person the phrase “he cleans up nice” was invented for. When you consider his past, which includes an upbringing in North Carolina, a decade in San Francisco [where he lived in a room with no windows which became the setting of his first book], and an infamous turn as Black Arm, where he is today would have been the last place anyone would have likely looked to find him.
Scott loves to send and receive letters and postcards. He sent me this a while ago, and I still feel guilty I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain with a reply.
Scott’s part in Strongest of the Strange.
I feel like I should be able to tell you more about Scott, more info, more facts: where he was born, where and how long he went to school, his career highlights as a pro, when he moved to France, etc…but I don’t do much in the way of research and instead just go with what I know, which sometimes isn’t much and sometimes isn’t even correct, but in this case our subject here has something of a similar attitude towards his writing. I’d assume.
I’ve never met Scott in person, but looking back at my emails I’ve been in touch with him since July of 2013. I interviewed him briefly about his first fist book, aptly titled A Room With No Windows, and stayed in touch. One thing I have firsthand knowledge of as a result is his aversion to being defined by his tattoos, which yes, seems ironic on the surface but that’s what makes Scott Bourne Scott Bourne. Honestly I have reservations even bringing it up out of respect, but Scott’s a writer who would rather not write at all than be censored, so I’m borrowing that page. But all of the irony and contradictions and the hard-to-pin-down nature of who he is are the things that make his writing so unique and worth reading and why I’d suggest you should even bother with it. Which brings me to the topic at hand.
Scott has a new book out, Orgy Porgy, featuring a collection of his work from a monthly column he did for the French skate magazine SOMA. Literary types might recognize the references to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. You should read that too btw.
Scott writes mostly about small events, people he knows, and writes about those things well, but there’s more to it, in doing so we get insight into his view of himself and humankind. If you’ve read any Henry Miller or Ferdinand Celine you’re halfway there. I’m no literary critic and I’m not here to critique or review the book, instead I want you to find it and read it. Ask your local bookstore [if there is such a thing] to order it, if not then go ahead and get it online, and expand your horizons via the experiences most of us won’t have, then decide for yourself what it all means. Deal?
Go ahead, judge this book by its Todd Bratrud cover art.
I was happy to get a copy of Orgy Porgy, which Scott mailed to me from France, while at the same time was slightly disappointed to find no inscription, no signature, nothing. But again, that’s Scott.