Thursday, July 27, 2006

Should Be Studying For My Chaucer Final

Do you ever feel the need to scorn someone else in your chosen profession? Maybe it's not a profession - perhaps it is something you do, think you do well, and will probably never get paid for. And someone gets a little notoriety - I say a little because those that get a lot are pop culture phenomena and pop culture phenomena are boring - and you frown and call them fucking hacks for writing a book about a dorky kid in high school who makes lists out of everything and is self-loathing but supposed to be witty and the narration in the book is self-critiquing, like it's so clever that it's a meta-joke, that you're reading it and commenting on it in your head, but the narrator/writer is one step ahead of you because he/she is commenting on it as well, anticipating that you rightly think this is self-indulgent shit, but because of that one level of removal and the fact that a narrator calls him/herself names the reviewer says it is painfully, hilariously self-aware, etc. and you know that this is bullshit, that the writer probably had one short story written in the present pluperfect and namechecks Gaddis twice (once in the first prologue) and constantly diverges to talk about shit tangentially, if at all connected to the story, stuff like footnotes about made-up shit that appears in the story and then ends the story before the climax which was never coming about two characters, one named Destiny and the other named Mike, walking along a parkway that becomes a metaphor for nothing really, it's the author playing a joke on those "losers who take literature too seriously" and half of your workshop class thinks this is hilarious and the writer has a literary agent who LOVED the short story and asked for a novel, but the book is a memoir, albeit fictional...

None of that has really happened, there's not a book or an author like that. Well there is, just none that I've read. Lately. It's fun writing about shitty writing though.

A few years back, when I took myself even more seriously - try to find some stuff I wrote back then - I made fun of some kid on campus who was like nineteen and who talked about his novel, and a then-friend tore me a new one for taking myself just as seriously as a writer, being but a year or two older, and who am I to make fun of someone for doing what they love, etc. But I kind of still stand by having made fun of that kid, because unless you've gotten a rather large advance or you're working on your second or later novel, you do not say, "I'm working on my novel." Unless you want to be made fun of. It just makes me think of that poor bastard Chip in The Corrections, forever working on and correcting his pathetic screenplay. And myself.

And why do people who say they have an idea for a screenplay inevitably think of a shitty horror movie? Or was that just Christopher Moltisante?


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