Friday, September 12, 2008

Question: Can Serious Prose (Fiction) Survive A Blog?

I've been doing a lot of sly bullshitting lately, and it's made me wonder whether this blog shouldn't or couldn't be a little more serious. Should I add poems, should I perform the office of a legitimate prose writer. And what I mean by that is Should I actually offer any insight(s) into dasein as I both see and imagine it.

I don't think I should. I think, if anything, I should be even more outrageous; even less serious.

I was looking through an old essay, and I'd written, about Woolf's To the Lighthouse, that "Nature is sombre and has a soul of passion." I wrote that years ago. (They call that "creative criticism," and at the graduate level it's good for two pounds of flesh.)

But I thought, "Well, I can do something like that. I can be honest, I can write serious fiction; I can post poetry."

And then GBS (Bernard Shaw) spoke to me. "David, why do you want to do that? David, so many others are doing that. David, please...David--Where in the shower does David Adams Richards rest his foot when he's shaving his testicles? Tell me that, David. Please."

So I could be serious. I have unpublished novels; I have unpublished short stories. I have unpublished poems.

But why ruin it? As Robert Bolt once told me, "David, you've already got one Margaret Atwood. Be funny!"

I dug my toe into the sand. "Well, Robert: I try."

I just wish that people cared. If people don't read Saul Bellow, why would they care that he's thinking of buying a new canoe?

About two months ago I met Zadie Smith. "Zadie," I said, "I want to let you know that I really love your stuff. But, please, smile, honey. Just part your lips. Come on. It would mean so much to me. How about a grin? Zadie, just smirk."

I don't sound like that. But I put on the voice. For you, readers. Just to entertain you. But it doesn't work. It reminds me of the time that I baked a pecan pie for Bret Easton Ellis. He'd asked for it, and I baked it. "Bret, have a piece."


"Just a taste."

"I'm not hungry."

"But you asked for it."

"David: I do not need pie right now."

That's the future of blogging. In my opinion, of course.


Tim Hwang said...

Long time reader -- first time caller!

Obviously, it's clear to me that if "Canadian(ist)" is any evidence, the future of the blog is endless "satirical" navel gazing and puffed-up wry name-dropping. Let me guess, your unpublished novels feature domestic strife and you've cultivated a refined distaste of McSweeney's. Original, I know.

I'm watching your blog. I hope your future posts can provide me with more than just a sad chuckle and a hope that you write one honest word in your life.

C. David M. said...

I disagree entirely, Tim. I love to see the literati turned into real people who shave their testicles and buy tampax at the local drug store.

What's more honest than that?

All Posts On This Site Are Intended As Juvenalian Satire. If They Veer Into Horatian Satire, That's OK Too. Just, Please, Don't Take Them Too Seriously. PhD Students Can't Afford Libel Suits. CUPE Doesn't Cover Court Costs.
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