Sunday, August 10, 2008


Towards the back a small note: we regret to inform, it begins, that for some reason (no doubt) the author decided (more or less) to discontinue writing at (or around) this point. And then it ends. The reader, feeling a little overwhelmed after having trudged through so many parentheses, shuts the book with a sigh.

Why now? he thinks a few moments later. Why at this point? He had regarded the work as a whole to have been consistently, satisfyingly mediocre, and to cut it off just then seemed to him not quite right. He had persisted, oftentimes against every urge in his profoundly unexcited mind, in reading the novel; he had done this despite, and sometimes it seemed perhaps even because of, the book’s dullness, its level, ceaseless mediocrity; and now, somehow, without explanation, the author had chosen to discontinue the writing of the book.

This, naturally, upsets the reader. He glances down at the spine of the book and looks at the publisher’s mark. It is an anchor with three loons fluttering in the background. He walks over to his phonebook and flips through it. Picking up the receiver he presses a series of numbers. At last he speaks into it: yes I’m calling about the most recent book you’ve published…yes…yes, I am calling about the appendix…yes…well I don’t see…yes…yes…possibly then there is someone…yes, yes, I can see that of course but…yes…so then…yes…well I had no idea…no I didn’t…yes ok then…yes…perfect sense, yes…ok then…yes…yes…well thank you. He hangs up the receiver and returns to his chair and the book. Like the phonebook he flips through it, landing at last upon the book’s final words. He rereads them, mouthing each word slowly, and then, even more slowly, begins to nod his head. Ah yes, he mouths, I see it now, ah yes, and he continues shaking his head for some time.

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