Tuesday Hangovers

  • Jeff Ford puts up his story "Bright Morning" about a writer cursed to be "Kafkaesque": If there’s one thing that distinguishes my books from those of others, it’s the fact that in the review blurbs that fill the back cover and the page that precedes the title inside, the name of Kafka appears no less than eight times. Kafka, Kafkaesque, Kafka-like, in the tradition of Kafka. Certainly more Kafka than one man deserves — a veritable embarrassment of Kafka riches. My novels are fantasy/adventure stories with a modicum of metaphysical whim-wham that some find to be insightful and others have termed “overcooked navel gazing.” Granted, there are no elves or dragons or knights or wizards in these books, but they are still fantasies, none the less. I mean, if you have a flying head, a town with a panopticon that floats in the clouds, a monster who sucks the essence out of hapless victims through their ears, what the hell else can you call it? At first glance, it would seem that any writer would be proud to have his work compared to that of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, but upon closer inspection it becomes evident that in today’s publishing world, when a novel does not fit a prescribed format, it immediately becomes labeled as Kafkaesque. The hope is, of course, that this will be interpreted as meaning exotic, when, in fact, it translates to the book buying public as obscure. Kafka has become a place, a condition, a boundary to which it is perceived only the pretentious are drawn and only total lunatics will cross. Read the whole thing.
  • Do cats cause schizophrenia?
  • Birnbaum vs. Himself.
  • Coffee and Ink lists a number of books she’s looking forward to. Me too.

3 thoughts on “Tuesday Hangovers”

  1. He’s since removed it. Here’s his explanation:
    The reason I had to pull the plug on it was that it was brought to my attention that I’d promised it for an anthology that will be coming out in June of 06. This fact completely slipped my mind, and I apologized to Jim Kelly, who is one of the editors.
    – Rick

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