The narrator is named Sam. But it what? After bath time when we were kids, we draped our washcloths over the old iron radiator to dry so that eventually all of our washcloths were covered with rust stains. We made him up so that he could hold all the frightening unknown things. Franka-ki-ee was the essence of dark mystery. And I often felt him just behind me, in hot pursuit as they say, when I ran screaming at night through the backyard, when I woke before the sun. The scream, the run, the darkness and the fact that I always managed to escape Franka-ki-ee, reset the balance between good things and bad things in the universe.
Franka-ki-ee is a fulcrum between life and death.
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I wrote my undergraduate college essay about bath time with my brother and sister. I went to an excellent state school instead. Then years and years later, when I was super-pregnant with twins, Brown University asked me to come read to their students from my novel The Invention of Everything Else. You were right. A few weeks after the reading at Brown I received an email from Brian Evenson, the magnificent writer who had organized my visit.
The note from Brian contained a mysterious post script. He wrote:.
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And I wanted to ask you about Wanda LaFontaine, the author you mention on page My Wanda was pure fabrication. Evenson had detected my ghost book and was caught in limbo between the real and the not real by his fantastic memory and this strange coincidence. Then a few days later my twins were born and I became very disinterested in things that were not one of my three daughters.
- Hamlet: Prince of Denmark (Arranged for Stage with Notes and Direction).
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- This Book Does Not Exist by Mike Schneider.
In the middle of February , four and a half years after my Brown reading, I finished writing a new novel, Mr. This one is called The Book of Ether. It is a religious text breasted inside Mr. As Mr.
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Splitfoot was prepared for printing, Wanda LaFontaine returned to me. It was so simple. Google Books instantly provided me with his Wanda passage:. But none of that mattered as long as the words were good, and they were. Lucius Shepard was not only real, it was clear that his Wanda and my Wanda were quite certainly the same author, a woman deeply doused in cheap perfume to disguise the scent of her own decay.
Who was Lucius Shepard?
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What did he have to do with me? Clearly, many things.
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Again I began to doubt his reality because it was all so strange. Plus I suspected Brian Evenson had an interest in authors who hid their identities inside created authors, Pessoa-ites. I again found myself checking the Internet in order to confirm that Lucius Shepherd was in fact a real man, with a real photo and a real Facebook account. He was. I must have said his name a hundred or more times. I told so many people the story of Wanda, Lucius and me in Madaket.
They understood some disrupted, child version of the story of Lucius Shepard. On February 27th, , I sent a fast message off to Lucius, attempting to explain this unexplainable thing that had happened—that from separate lives but not that separate we had stumbled upon the same ghost author. I waited some more. It is strange to think how, in spite of so many young artists now playing with digital aesthetics, it was actually Warhol who saw it coming most clearly.
The massive shift from depth to surface that Warhol explained with celebrity culture and advertising has now taken hold of language itself and spread across the planet. Planetary networks have become places of profound confusion and dislocation. This might look and feel like drifting, and traditional or conservative notions of substance will always try to dismiss its noise, its cat videos and porn, bad techno and bombastic contemporary art, but one should be careful not to underestimate the massive distances being crossed in the meantime.
These distances are themselves very quickly reformatting our consciousness and cognitive capacity to absorb entire worlds made of contradiction—not only in language but far beyond language as well.
Some people might already be there: scammers and tricksters, the frazzled post-studio artist and the post-institutional independent militia, political dissidents and unruly journalists who know never to trust their maps. Our ability to traverse these contradictions may very well become the backbone of the global telecommunications network we used to think was an internet. Subscription pending. Your email subscription is almost complete. An email has been sent to the email address you entered.
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