Saturday, May 24, 2014

When I retired from the Health Dept. at the end of 2011 I told myself that my new job would be to write my "novel"--Appearances.  The plan was to collage together a novel from 365 fragments.  More accurately the plan was to try to write a fragment a day for a year and then to revise it into whatever its final state might be.  I've been at this project for about 2 and a half years now and just completed fragment 290 in the first draft.  So, best laid plans and all that... It's the longest, craziest writing project I have ever attempted.


Appearances isn't a novel in a traditional sense.  My friend Thomas Fink says that it is my epic poem.  I don't know about that, but maybe he's right.  There are many quasi-allegorical elements to the text.  Characters appear and disappear.  The characters I'm currently working with are: the Virtual, the Real, History, Politics, Science, Love, an (occasional) Other, the Ventriloquist, the Projectionist and the Hypnotist.  (FYI: the Ventriloquist, the Projectionist and Hypnotist together comprise the performance art group known as Vaudeville without Organs.)


Here's the most recently completed fragment (290):

The Real climbs up on a bar table and takes off all of its clothes.  Its body is revealed to be a map of crisscrossing sutures.  There is nothing seamless about the body of the Real.


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