Friday, May 17, 2013

Lost in the Lunatic's Library

So here's my list of ...
Books that should be read, but probably won't be, due to the fact that either they A) were never written, B) were written but never published, or a somewhat more remote possibility, C) were written and published, but in a parallel universe, rendering them for all intents and purposes inaccessible.
(The upside of parallel world publishing, by the way, is that a writer can pad his or her resume with a hefty list of books he or she has successfully published, at least in theory, without having to worry about some anally obnoxious fact checker proving him or her a blatant liar.)

One of my favorites: The Erotic Adventures Of A Quantum Mechanic.
Right off the bat we're drawn to the clever play on words in the title. The story follows a young man's path of sexual awakening in an indeterminate, irony-laden world. Think of sex on the subatomic level. Can the sexual urges of an electron be anything more than virtual? Is third party observation the key to a fully actualized sex life? Written in the first person, both narrator and reader are continually forced to confront the paradoxical intersection of imagination and reality. Is the imagination a function of reality, or vice versa? When, for example, the young Quantum is seduced by his best friend's older sister, can the reader attest beyond a reasonable doubt that the sex depicted is anything other than a quantum fantasy? And more to the point, does anyone, with the possible exception of Quantum himself, really care?

"He was lured by her savory softness, the sway of her firm female buttocks ascending the stairs, the highly stylized way in which she removed the stuffed animals from her bed. Fortunately, the Barbie doll on the bookcase was wearing sunglasses. Better, he thought, that there be no witnesses, but then again ..."

Best title ever for a novel:  Lycanthropy For Flute & Oboe (already copyrighted, so don't get any ideas).  Which begs the question, can the title of a novel be so good that the book should be published on the basis of it alone?
Read the title, loved it. Don't really give a crap on content. Could be a cookbook for paranoid schizophrenics for all I care. Let's move on this fast, before the vampires get wind of it.

Richard Rorty, the late American Pragmatist, said that it's the poets and novelists, rather than the philosophers, who have become the primary interpreters and re-inventors of modern/postmodern culture. How we say something, in other words, is often more important than what we say. So think before you speak ... no, wait a minute, don't think.

Still, one has to wonder if Rorty ever read anything by the madly prolific genius, David Foster Wallace.
Bringing to us to acclaimed novel, written and published, reputedly a bestseller, but nearly impossible to read:  Infinite Jest.  Compared to Wallace, Proust was the ultimate minimalist. Think of James Joyce on methamphetamine. This is a guy who could go 50 pages describing a single game of tennis; brilliantly, for sure, but the casual reader, overwhelmed in waves of magical, maniacal language, should not underestimate the potentially deleterious affects upon his or her own continued mental well being.

Hence our offer: This blog will pay a total of $1.00 to anyone who can read Infinite Jest within 3 months, without skipping any pages. To claim this reward the reader is obliged to submit a brief book report (maximum 1000 words) describing the various themes of the novel, providing examples of its metaphorical wit and subtle black humor, as well as taking a position (yea or nay) on the book's status as an postmodern masterpiece.

Finally, the book we're all looking forward to reading:  The Big Baby Book Of Ingrid Mayflower.
Ingrid M, already being described as the cutest baby born thus far in the 21st. Century, lives in a pouch, chirps in English and Swedish and apparently spends a lot of time sleeping, during which, it is surmised, she is busy outlining the story of her weird and wonderful life to come.

Welcome to crazy planet Earth, little Ms. Mayflower.

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