Sunday, March 7, 2010

On "I Am a Famous Writer" by Robert Day (7546 words) *****

This piece is mad and wonderful. It reminds me a bit of Julio Cortazar's "Blow-Up," another story that seems to get lost in itself--and that in turn loses the reader (or at least this reader)--but that is so much fun to read one doesn't care if clarity is thrown to the wind. This is metafiction on acid, meta to the absurd extreme. At heart is the story of a famous writer writing, writing about his writing, about his friend's writing, or maybe his own writing about a fictional friend, or a fictional protagonist's writing about a real friend, or a fictional protagonist's writing about a fictional friend who is really himself writing about his fictional protagonist? Do you get it?

In between is some nice commentary on writing itself, on a certain kind of writing. There is automatic writing here. There is self-aggrandizing writing (let me quote myself!). There is writing done by assistants. (I'm reminded of some textbook editing experiences, wherein some writers, after giving a basic outline of what was desired, had most of the actual writing done by assistants, who they then rewrote before stamping their name on it.) But the story is so much fun one doesn't have be into writing--just into literature in general. Read it here at Summerset Review.

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