By Kane X. Faucher and Tom Bradley.
The characters portrayed in this work are the product of the author’s speculative fictions and imagination, very loosely based on the actual persons themselves. This work is in no way designed to defame or libel the deceased persons of Ezra Pound, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Charles Bukowski, Antonin Artaud, Hunter S. Thompson, or Henry Miller3, nor their respective descendants or estates. This text is an exercise in caricature, satire, and speculation, and does not intend to cast these named persons in any claim to historical accuracy.4
For some inexplicable reason perhaps known only to the most eldritch of alchemical sciences in the perfection of homunculi,5 five6 dead vitriolic writers of the twentieth century have returned in the polite environs of Canada7 As they come to grips with the grim and harsh realities of the present day, they assess the situation the only way they know how: through their signature acerbic critiques, jeremiads, and austere reflections. However, lurking above them all as the fiendish puppetmaster and nefarious arch-villain is the one who ferried them into the world: Ebeneezer8 Pound, Grand Ipsissimus of Poetic Criticism.
Preface by Ebeneezer Pound9
I would like here to take the opportunity to speak to you directly with my trademark predilection for explaining things in a pithy manner. For those of you not acquainted with modern literature, I would highly recommend you consult my many instructional books on the subject as a guide. However, some of the authors I have chosen to resurrect were not ones I was familiar with in my own time, some of them having come into prominence after my “death.”10
It would be of some utility for me to tarry but briefly on this idea of my own death, for I suspend the term in quotation marks to indicate that I am speaking more metaphorically. I cannot betray the confidence of those occult masters who gifted me with certain abilities, but I can intimate that I was able to revivify the shadow of myself through a complex mathemagical procedure to ensure that my return was guaranteed.
One may rightly ask after my motivations. If I take such a disparaging view of the authors I have resurrected, then why did I elect to resurrect them rather than authors far more talented and agreeable as Geoffrey Chaucer or Wyndham Lewis?11 I do admit my own limitations, and my abilities in this science are still in their infancy, and so I opted to perform an experiment, plucking what rags and scraps of the literary domain were most readily available; hence, the authors arranged here. In my absence, I have kept tabs on literary fashions as they swell and fade, and I can say with no exaggeration that the situation is far bleaker than I had forecast. Those of you who are familiar with my works will doubtless comprehend my reasoning on this matter.
To begin with a lie is never conducive to winning lifelong trust, so I must confess that there were some errors along the way that I am at pains to disclose. In my initial attempt to infuse bodies with deceased authors, I made such an attempt with the self-proclaimed pataphysican, Alfred Jarry. This resulted in a rather literal rather than literary messy disaster. The host body was too fragile and could not contain the essence of Monsieur Jarry, and you might say with a bit of cheek that he succumbed to a “pataphysical breakdown.” In a subsequent attempt, I aborted the infusion when it became apparent to me that Jorge Luis Borges was already metafictional enough that to re-physicalize his essence would have been an insult to his literary program. Other attempts were made that never literally materialized, and I provide these succinct notes below:12
-John Barth was, in my estimation, a bit off-putting in his manner, and I am not terribly fond of goats in narratives.
-Thomas Pynchon was still very much alive.
-Joseph Conrad is far too maundering and hyper-verbose for my tastes, and I could not in good conscience re-inflict him upon the literary world now knowing what awful pain he has caused generations of high school students.
The same could be said of John Steinbeck.
-Francois Rabelais would prove a bit too jaunty and satirical for this age’s more mediocre appetites.
-Goethe would have failed to be appreciated by the current fads and trends of the day.
-Miguel de Cervantes declined all my entreaties without doing me the kindness of offering his reasons.
-I found Ernest Hemingway too dogmatic and self-involved.
-Drieu La Rochelle has his style rooted in the wrong antiquity.
-Halldor Laxness: you must be kidding me. What a sorry genealogical descent from the Icelandic sagas.
What Motivated My Choice of Authors
The decision to select these authors was partially due to availability and ease of materialization. Despite my personal feelings about these authors (which I will divulge further on), they are symbolic of their times, even if they are not the exemplary figures of their respective epochs. As this procedure of mine is still in its experimental phase, I opted to err on the side of a more minor impact upon the institution of literature in these modern times.
What Motivated My Choice of Location
Admittedly, this came about from a recollection of something one of my dear contemporaries had once said. Mr. Lewis let fly with a comment on Canada15 as being the most parochial nationette. In my continuing survey of Canadian letters, very few are of any note, and the nation seems to have the poorest literary fortunes in producing the great scribes that already populate the canons of France, Germany, England, Ireland, Russia, Spain, and Iceland. Since I would be remiss to cause too much sensation and disruption in these nations, I chose Canada as the ideal crucible. Other locations I considered were New Zealand, Cameroon, and the Falkland Isles. What struck me, upon closer examination of the Canadian scene of arts and letters, is how desperate it seems to establish a nationalized identity for its arts, and yet these gestures are continually sabotaged by the perils of overcompensation. Of course, these are my views and those immersed in Canadian letters may take umbrage at them, claiming that my view is simply not the case. However, I do not trouble myself beyond what is necessary, nor will I allow any impediments to my experiment. This leads me to
The Purpose of My Experiment
To give away the ending and serve up the finer meaning of my enterprise would be crude, not to mention this would diminish the reader’s enjoyment. I bristle at the cliche representation of villains who, hoisted by their own hubristic arrogance, pander to explain their master plan only to be foiled before attaining satisfaction. This error I do not permit myself and so leave it to you the reader to discern my motives through careful consideration.
As to the authors I have selected16, and my opinions thereof, do permit me to act as the interlocutor at some point in the duration of your reading. Upon further reflection, it is my hope that some of you will be able to identify these authors on your own by their speaking registers without me risking condescension. For those who find themselves hopelessly adrift, I do promise to make a full disclosure well after the authors have introduced themselves by their pseudonyms.17
Celine – 118
You’ll pay me for peace – and I know it!… Ok, ok, enough with the sidelong glances, the little snorts and fake clearing of the throat!… Yes, enough of you gasping for air! Tugging at your collar! This is no drill, and you will indeed pay me in hard coin for peace!… All of you… one day. You’ll see! And if you don’t pay me for it in my lifetime, well… nuts to you! Live in the perpetual karneia all I care! We all know the helots clean up in the end… even among you mid-brows!
Ok, I’m clowning around with you… It’s easy to fall into… I’m quite the entertainer! None of your thousand million circuses can outperform me!… And carnival barkers? Bah! My firing squad voice is enough to make your biggest bombs little more than the slight hiss of a fart in the parlours, a whispered quip in high society!…
Nothing much has changed… Am I still maligned? Yes!… in some pockets, but the fire of it has died away… perhaps a few voodoo dolls left in Israel19 or in Pere Lachaise… I was wrong about helping out the school kids… Instead I find articles written by smutty professors… all sorts of goons and rogues and smiling new liberals who want to put the bow tie on my corpse!… Focus on my little chronicles, forget about the pamphlets… Yes, of course!… Those pamphlets are my ruin!20… Seizing half my property! Jail time!… pariah status!… Meanwhile, the worst offenders are let off, scott free! “Very sorry, maitre! Here, have a Palme D’or!” For me? Nothing but bad jujuism!… The hard slap in the kisser of indifference… “the unredeemable”! Meanwhile, I’m getting crissed and crossed by pan-academics in the new global fa-sol-la-do… Analyzed by nihilists and gnostics! Gnihilsts!
I shouldn’t be picking old bones with you… You? Most of you were not even born when I cacked!… You wouldn’t know from squat about the whole thing… I could tell you that Hitler invented the light bulb and founded the Roman Empire, and you’d believe me!… There’s no sense of history any more… which is perhaps a good thing… The things they would teach the children these days would be a sweetened hoax… The kids have better things to do! I see them weaving like drunks on the sidewalks… thumbstruck with their miniature devices! They call it “texting”21… Important and high matters of state, no doubt… Oh, I’m sure! This culture has taken a powder! They can’t go five minutes without contacting one another! Everybody a needy baby in his own crib! “Mama! Mama!” – they must be stroked, fed, talked to! Ring ring!… Another incoming message!… “What r u up 2?” – see how they procrusteate language, truncate it by means of cutesy codes? – “nuthin’ much, just texting u.” This is asinine! And that’s what the kids do these days, all days, into the night!… Them hooked up to all manner of devices!… worse even than the constant orchestra in my head!… I never thought I would be around to see people actually enjoying … Like everyone has been trepanned, rendered 75% disabled because of their hardware, their little gadgets! Lobotomized by progress and technology… Not one meaningful thing to say to one another anymore… Just passing the time… evading the ugly reality of existence through constant distracting radio chatter… A little friendly crudity, to each their cradle…22
Where did I leave you?23… Ah, yes, my inglorious return! I see that I have been translated since… not too poorly! Cosmopolitan isn’t such a dirty word anymore… But I’ve lost my French. I came back with a rigid mouth, one of those consonantal mouths of the English and harsh German… can’t seem to open my mouth wide enough to round out the vowels… My instincts are intact, but my language gone!… I must have drowned my tongue in the Lethe river… consigned now to speak this chop-shop language, this clumsy and oafish English… I was once in London, long ago… I can get by! Better now that this is what I got stuck with… A disabled tongue… A thief’s language. No wonder it is the internationally recognized business lingo! Thieves and rogues and rich corporate clowns… You see, that’s all the world was waiting for: a common canting language designed specifically for the purposes of economic robbery!… French couldn’t cut it! Too expressive… far too many sensuous and sumptuous adjectives… Descriptions? Descriptions bore people… They don’t want poetry! They want specs and pie charts!… Numbers triumphant, our little kingdoms of financial Pythagoreans24… Formulae for Wall Street alchemy!… percentages are what matter, not poetry!… Language? Just the sound of the cash register and the lawyer’s affidavit stamp! Ching-thump!
Well, we’ve had just about enough of poetry, haven’t we?… Thousands of years of mewling lines… ground into the heads of kids, forced to memorize and recite… The institutions made poetry appreciation a church service… No wonder it’s vilified or ignored today! So many students going into business… a trade, more profitable! You want to be a poet? You’re a goddamn bum! Leech! a twanging music box churning out melodies that grate the ears… I know, I know!… The only reading public these days are middle-aged women25 with a bachelor’s degree and little else… Polite books, books that don’t challenge! A literature that is quiet and puffy… based solely on themes!… Variations on themes!… stale themes over and over again, like a catechism for the nation!… Culture dried up long ago, so let’s not stick around and worry about it… The bad poetry will just keep pumping out, and the people will fawn all over it with their dollars and prizes… But poetry? Hard sell!… Take a wide berth!… We don’t want feeling anymore unless it is narcissistically grafted… maybe the thematic hook for a reality show… Another circus!… Don’t get me started on modern media… Tits and slaughterhouses!… but mundane, too!… The victory of the banal instinct!… A bit eccentric? You’ll find out soon enough!… Hard slaps, thwack thwack… and suddenly you’re on the terrorist watch list!… No more poetry unless it is machine-made and ready to serve!… No more feeling unless it is “universal” and flat!… Difference? Experimentation?… That’s for the labs! The pharmaceutical wizards26 … Your desire to create something new has yellow caution tape all around it… mummifying you with its beware message!… They’ll garrote you with that yellow, you’ll see!… Do you really think you’ll get a prize27 at the end of all this… all your hard years of nail-to-bone poverty… paycheck to paychecking your way by persistence?… They’ll all be there all right… ready to kick you in the can!… Into the poor house, you challenger! The grave! Get out of our hair, our way!… Where are your “themes”?… No themes? Go suck eggs!
The arts need to be cleared away… remove all pseudo-cultural traces! Someone ought to nudge the funding guillotine operators… lop off the heads of the doyennes!… the little elitist klatch of artsy nobility… Well!… Okay, enough of this revolution of the few blather… I have to get back to my story. I should say that poetry is in fact the very re-entry point… my border crossing control… My virgin voyage back into the light that I detest even more so now than I did then! What you have to understand is that I’ve collapsed… Oh, not in that frail, fainting away in a whalebone tightened corset on a scorching summer’s day!… No, not that kind of collapse, but the cosmic variety… My mass, you see… So intensely heavy that I became an aphorism, a black hole!… Everything sinks into me now… even the light!… And I give nothing back, not one shred of a beam. Those with our kind of mass never go away… we’re recurring types, even if the flesh fails, evaporates!… Bad novelists, or the archaic kind, populate their books with characters… Oh, wasn’t that character such a character?!… Yes, the flattened, two-dimensional types with no depth… nothing but a bit part even as leading roles!… No, the real novelist of tomorrow will take note of me… A black hole!28 I gobble everything up!… The plot, the scenery, the metaphors… I’m the violent vortex!… the hungry maw!… the endpoint of all novelizations!… Every literary convention and cheap dog and pony trick gets stretched and crushed once it passes my event horizon!… Ok, enough with this! On to poetry and my return.
You see, I only dipped into the pub because it was someplace warm… It isn’t easy coming back, especially the way I did!… All of a sudden – plop- here I am!29 I didn’t just nuzzle my way back! Cushioned landing… Fuck, no!… I was dead, remember… if you remember!… You take it for granted, but here I am… no job! No savings! No mafia kickbacks!… I may as well not exist… In fact, I don’t… Not according to the government. Long dead. Stuffed and canned in the forgetful graveyard… Been gone forty years, too… No great shakes!… Treated to this catastrophe. Not too different from when I cacked… Technology just made our banal repetitions faster, that’s all!… But don’t let me leave you in the lurch here… I came back, penniless!… Draw from my literary estate?… Are you mad? You must be an imbecile… a crossover derivative Petain!… What estate? I’m dead!30… Nothing to collect!… The publishers claim it all… Relatives? Better not…
So I ducked out of the cold, into the pub… Maybe a bit of charity?… No dice. Long faces, serious faces, drinking faces… Amber-lit environs… Overpriced everything… I was going to stretch out my legs, feel the age out a little bit… just a little! Nothing too in depth!… I had to brace myself for shock… Who was it over there? That golden-fleeced man31… He was talking… speaking into a microphone… Shit, it was too late… I was stuck at a poetry reading, of all things! Couldn’t just walk away… My table way at the far end… all those eyes… Don’t want to be rude… yet. We’ll see… I’m curious… curious about how poetry is done these days, what makes for good verse… Golden-fleecer over there, talking up a storm, nobody really listening… just making awestruck moon faces… Maybe he’ll kick them and they’ll rejoice!… Some sort of bilge about… what? Infusing poetry into a virus?… I hear a whisper at the other table… Golden-fleecer acquired a thousand million dollars from the government and the pharmaceutical cabals to do it!32…. Poetry meets infection!… Most people know what I think about infection, the sorry scenario of antibiotics that just prolong wars… Doesn’t sound to me like this poetry tucked in a virus business is going to end any wars anytime soon!… Infected soldiers versifying in the trenches? Infantry punctuating iambic pentameter33 with machine guns?… No shit… And Golden-fleecer here, fat and pretty with his millions no doubt… pulling that wool over our eyes… a wannabe pataphysician!34… Jarry? What’s this Golden-fleecer going on about now… that little French pedophile35 cyclist, Jarry… heraldry fanatic… It’s all about drainage even if Golden-fleecer is missing the point!… What’s he doing now?… Pulling a dry turd! Plucking right from his arsehole!… No, I must be imagining it… No, he’s pulled out some kind of pamphlet, his “small book”… Ok, he’s about to deliver… Fire away! Poom! All hands on deck!… Cannons at the ready! Golden-fleecer’s book is called something I can’t quite catch… Sequoia?… Ok, he’s about to fire off some spume!
-ga-huhhh… frackatackatackatackaTACKTACK brrrrrr-rrrrr-rrr… fringTACKAtack!36
up1On the hard drive of a barely functional internet- and multimedia-enabled mobile telephone, discovered by the present annotator among the scattered effects our late author left behind, is a brief history of Epigonesia/Epigonetics, which includes the following passage:
The state of epigonesia is induced by an occult practice of Epigonetics… [Pioneered by] Anna M. Nieces*, [it entails] a mixture of Buddhist reincarnation principles† and some surplus Scientology machinery purchased from an estate auction.
* In a book seething with aliases (a solipsistic form of autoeroticism, incest with the self) the denotation of this “occult practice’s” foundress’ surname should by no means be permitted to pass without a modicum of consideration. Neither should Ms. Nieces’ gender go unexamined in the context of a tragedy with such an odd paucity of female players. (See note 67 on the corruption of women in the Bhagavad Gita.)
† As this work unfolds–and the late author’s life unravels–a rather more Vedantic than Buddhist tone will be seen to inform the whole (but see note 169, on the Tibetan Bardos). This internal inconsistency, jarring in so fastidious a thinker, is perhaps explicable from a digital standpoint.
The reader will note the “brief history” appearing verbatim below, placed in the mouth of the narrative’s Poundian frame. But, as the history–and, indeed, this entire volume–were found languishing among pedophiliac images planted on the wallpaper of our erotically smutchless “Faucher’s” mobile telephone, there is excellent reason to suspect our “Niece’s” occult practice was insinuated upon this manuscript by a hacker–and a brazen one, who has left his/her name, or, rather, a “name.” (See note 98 on Sam Edwine.)
In fact, the text is riddled with this creature’s malignancies. The present editor/annotator has excised such tumors as were identifiable, and striven to erase the incisions with the cosmetic surgeon’s invisible sutures.
So, assuming the Epigonetic conceit is a viral infection of exogenous etiology, we are left with the disturbing possibility, if not likelihood, that our book’s very title is an interpolation, and that we are commencing our labors under a corrupt aegis, a hijacked logo, a bold-type pseudonym.
If so, Epigonesis will be far from the last alias to be encountered on these problematic pages, above or below the line that announces discontinuity between primary and secondary text.
up2This manifest pseudonym has withstood manifold attempts at decipherment. (See a moderately ambitious overview of the literature in Cye Johan’s seventh appendix to the present annotator’s Fission Among the Fanatics, Spuyten Duyvil Books, NYC, pages 421-534.) The puzzle’s solubility was not enhanced by our author’s suicide immediately upon completing the manuscript.
Kane: a clear reference to the medieval clan of Norwegian nobles–expressive of our author’s frustrated philoborealism, which in the present volume has been so movingly expressed by his choice of fictional settings. (See note 54 on Canada.)
Faucher, to mow (French): perhaps referring to the Grim Reaper, in this case the Mower-Down of the Self, both physical and psychical. (See note 62 on the mechanics of our author’s suicide.) Suggestions have also been made of an aural pun with the German Mauer, “mason,” as in Alle Jude-Freimaurer, alle Freimaurer-Juden. (See note 141 on Esoteric Hitlerism and Germanic Odinism).
X: Critical opinion now seems to have arrived at a consensus that the letter abbreviates not the usual slavishly papist Xavier, but rather stands, far more wholesomely, for the Pythagoreans’ perfect number, the most sacred and mystical dekad involving the entire kosmos–which, of course is precisely the ambition that possessed our author from the start of his astonishing career.
More directly pertinent to the Vedantic tenor of the whole, the lore of X is “recorded a hundred times more fully in the Hindu system, for him who can understand its mystic language.”*
For an exhaustive overview of the multidisciplinary investigations into this puzzle, as well as an unsettling surmise as to the true identity of our late “Mower,” see Israeli scholar-journalist Barry Katz’s Second Appendix to My Hands Were Clean, Unlikely Books, 2010, pages 345-433.
Meanwhile, the present annotator’s own surmise as to the significance of faux-X. Faucher’s assumed middle initial will be provided, below, in its proper place–assuming our hacker has vacated the premises and doesn’t interfere.
* Secret Doctrine, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
up3Half of the perfect X totals the roll call of these resurrected authors. Because of its particular relation to the perfect number, five holds high regard in the Pythagorean system of numerals. Combine this with the conceit of each author speaking with two simultaneous voices, his own and “Faucher’s” consistently uncanny parody thereof, and the dekad is handily arrived at. This can hardly be a coincidence, given the erudition both broad and deep enjoyed by our late author.
In the Hindu mythology, worth mentioning in the present Vedantic context, Brahma is heard to emit no more, and no fewer, than five phonemes to initiate creation of the cosmos–on the first page, as it were, of The Book through which we all stumble, barely knowing whom we’re supposed, and supposing, to be.
up4This whole paragraph is one of the most obvious interpolations, or hackings, of them all, and a cynical, jeering one at that. It will be seen that our author, far from being capable of distancing himself in such a cravenly legalistic manner, harbored absolutely no doubt (much of the time, at any rate) that his beloved quintet of boon companions were literally no less than literarily speaking through him, providing no less “historical accuracy” than when their garrulous spirits were incarnated. The wonder is that our Mower escaped the etiolation which marks the energumen. Indeed, he seems to have maintained an admirable Germanically Odinistic musculature, clear to the end. (See appendix, “Ensemble.”)
up5Time and again Aleister Crowley distinguishes between two types of alchemist: the one who uses the brass alembic to embody mere parroting umbras, and the other who through more spiritual means brings forth contact with higher centers of consciousness.
The distinction is far from idle. As Crowley’s sometime heir, Jack Parsons, pointed out–
The invocation of lesser forces (spirit, angel, demon, elemental) is exact, since love doesn’t enter into it so much. In one sense it’s far more dangerous than the invocation of gods. In the higher work you are actually wooing the god–it is an act of art. In the lower you are compelling–it is an act of science.
There are times when either possibility might obtain in the present magical working, and Faucher’s uncanny parodic skills remain equally preternatural throughout. It is for the astute reader to divine whether he is hearing from an excarnate buddha, or some pitch-perfect aping thereof.
“Ebeneezer’s” allusion to alchemy, as well as his later citations of Blavatsky, Crowley, et al (see, e.g., notes 235 and 236), signal an ardent desire for these resurrectionist efforts to be taken as more than mere socio-fantasizing a la Rumpelstiltskin. He strives, now with more and now less success, at least to appear to follow established esoteric procedures for the extra-uterine muster of entities capable of verbal communication.
Artaud and Thompson may be exceptions (see note 137 on the former’s death by chloral hydrate, and note 129 on the latter’s suicide). But the others are probably elementary spirits with parroting-aping skills all the more virtuosic for their animalistic lack of volition and self-consciousness. It remains for future commentators with more expertise speculatively to assign to each his element.
up7Time gone by, Ancient Gower was posthumously recruited to serve as Chorus in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. In that capacity he employed antique meters to whisk us in imagination toward far-off Antioch, “the fairest in all Syria.” Likewise, our present author assumes the vocal tones of a venerable and long-dead graybeard, who dog-sleds us Yukon-ward to the last bastion of Xanthochroid civilization in this hemisphere: a brisk Shangri-La, compared to what seethes so rankly below, stuck to the bottom edge of the map like a chicle string of gum footnoted to a boreal galosh.
Ezra was the scribe who led the significant number of a half-myriad Jews out of Babylon. In much the same way, the present scribe, under a pseudonym, herds an exiled gaggle, precisely one one-thousandth in number, to whatever unquiet burg awaits them.
Ebeneezer, of course, was the memorial stone set up by Samuel to commemorate the divine assistance to Israel in their tussle with the Philistines, whom they routed (1 Sam. 7:7-12). As will be seen, Israel’s significance to this work is no less deep than that of the name Samuel, last of the Hebrew judges and first of the major prophets–and the namesake of a certain hacker-interpolator who abides unwholesomely near to this text. (His family name–assuming he springs from an incarnated lineage and isn’t the offscouring of some untalented alchemist’s alembic, is Edwine.)
up9The recruiting of Pound’s persona, combined with that of Celine and at least one other member of “Faucher’s” dramatis personae who shares with them a certain pronounced animadversion (the religio-ethnic peccadillo which dares not speak its name), begs the question of the extent to which our own late author suffered from it as well. This delicateness informs the entire work set before us now, in a punctiliously tacit manner–but for one oblique slip of otherwise formidable protective gear. (See note 217 on “cellar-dwelling Kabbalists.”)
up10The inverted commas dig into this already painful word like fishhooks, in this moving instance where “Faucher’s” diurnal preoccupations poke through the fictive surface, like struts of reality under a sheetrock of dream, or, rather, gnarls of mesquite beneath a sublimated smear of Utah adobe. This is an edifice of transferred affect, and of psychic projection. It must never be forgotten that the present text is, after all, an extended suicide note.
up11That the Chaucerian connection should here, uniquely, be made explicit in the context of that other “agreeable” figure, Wyndham Lewis, suggests a further consideration of the sensitive issue raised in note 9, above.
up12The following catalogue, a seemingly inane if not random laundry list of more or less irrelevant authors (more in the case of Hemingway), would be puzzling in such an otherwise rigorous context, were we not to recollect that alchemists are fond of veiling their Isiac truths under arcane tissues of misdirection, to frustrate the defiling attentions of the profane. The presence of a deeper meaning is hinted, for those with eyes to see, by the dismissive comments about each author.
If we extract the first seven words of each of these authors’ third books, transliterate the letters into the Hebrew alphabet, and apply a process of reverse gematria, we arrive at the overarching numerical scheme of the present book, which, as an enduring tribute to “Faucher’s” architectonic genius, shines through in spite of our malignant hacker’s multi-sensory assaults.
This is nothing less than our suicide-bound author’s schematic for the magical conjure circle in which he intends to perform his grand working of self-annihilation and apotheosis to excarnate buddhahood via the parallel Kabbalistic process of gilgul.
up13Some scholars (with whom the present annotator violently disagrees) posit an acute anxiety regarding the more physical form of detumescence to be at the root, so to speak, of our author’s eventual self-expungement. No evidence exists to support this, save for the circumstantial fact that “Faucher’s” nemesis, the gigantically rubicund bugaboo who haunts his oeuvre (and stalks his posthumous hard drive under the mysterious designation “The Colossus of Color”) would stereotypically be among the last unfeathered bipeds standing, as it were, if Osama Bin Laden ever decided it would be tactical to saltpetre Los Angeles’ potable water supply.
up15His five ghosts, whatever travails they meet, have been translated by the boundless beneficence of our author’s heart, to a relative Heaven, far removed from the hideous salt desert where they were conjured. This is a moving ruse, on “The Mower’s” part, to ransom his own spirit, if only fancifully, from the quintessential (United States of) American Hell in which he was, during the squalid climax of his quotidian life, embroiled, secretly, at the time of this book’s composition.
Only now, and only in this underhanded, literally subtextual manner, can the present annotator reveal “Faucher’s” sordid tale, a nightmare in which the worlds of affirmative action and–most depraved of all–literary academe and the prizes it self-generates–collide, and converge, fittingly, like radioactive carcinoma-beams through a prism, in that most un-Canadian of Despond’s sloughs: the Utah Salt Flats.
up16In a simultaneously tawdrier and more glorious age, George Wilkins (significantly a pamphleteer–see note 185–as well as a brothel keeper) and his more talented collaborator (whose own historical identity is far from gelled) braided themselves with Tyrian Prince Pericles and the long-gone figure of Chaucer’s coeval and esteemed peer. Likewise, our author now assumes a triply, if not quadruply false face, and resurrects multiple dead writers, to speak for him, or them, John Gower-wise (see note 7). Epigonesia, indeed: a textbook case.
up18The ultimate Chaucerian root is thus laid bare. As in that long-gone Aprill with his shoures soote, the Self is systematically fragmented; the text now begins its rotation, its serial handing-off amongst the dramatis personae, for treatment with each of their disparate voices. Multiple cross-mixings of fiction and non- are now afoot.
The conjuration of Gower takes on other signifying laminae: he held Chaucer’s power of attorney, just as the present editor/commentator held our late author’s internet- and multimedia-enabled mobile telephone, after retrieving it, barely functional, half-melted with long exposure to ultraviolet rays, from the few coyote-chewed tatters of trousers tangled among “Faucher’s” skeletized thighs.
And, like “Moral” Gower, the present annotator will appear at key moments of this strange drama, not heading up scenes, but rather materializing down here among the footlights at the stage’s bottom brink, nostril-to-nostril with the groundlings. He is content to perform his humble part.
up19This particular stratum of ice will get no thinner, and no more transparent, in the entire “Faucherian” oeuvre. Even such a doughty author as ours wants to return from a skating trip–at least up until the final excursion. See note 9, above.
up20Here “Faucher” is expressing his own deepest fear: ruin by means of insufficient self-censorship, which equates to self-expungement in a writer–and certainly did, in this case. Céline’s life served as a cautionary tale; and perhaps this accounts for much of the uncanny energy behind “Faucher’s” assumption of his voice.
This meticulous side-step, even in the midst of a conjuration of Celine, is no less virtuosic than affecting, especially when one remembers it’s nothing less than the last act of our Grim Self-Mower’s earthly existence. He conflates his suicide note with a document that contributes to a further suppression of the verboten Bagatelles in the Anglosphere, by resurrecting their author, yet disallowing his discussion of them beyond a mention of their name. Our “Faucher” has done what neither the Nazis nor the Vichy government nor the Allies nor the Israelis, nor even the United Nations could do: he has closed the mad physician’s mouth–even in the midst of placing tens of thousands of words in it. It is the climactic abracadabra of the greatest literary Houdini: the maintenance of pursed lips while plunged upside-down in a bath of vitriol.
up21By what the present annotator can only hope was a grotesque coincidence, upon the arrival of his eyes at this, the first instance of the word texting, Faucher’s internet- and multimedia-enabled mobile telephone suddenly began to vibrate.
No doubt, even freshly plucked from the factory bubble wrap, it would be a squalid little item. In its present Salt Flat-ravaged condition, it was repugnant as a half-dead hanta-viral rodent, gritty in the hand and retaining a sickish warmth.
Unfamiliar with this or anything else “digital,” the present annotator leapt high in surprise, and gagged and shied back at what must be one of the most disgusting of discussible sensations: a gritty thing scrubbing and grunting in his hand. He dropped it on the floor and stomped on it, with further loss of data.
The following message, presumably a species of “texting,” appeared before his eyes:
Edwine, you slug. What’s with the lit agent? Did you let her blow you or what? Don’t worry about farting. She likes it. The wetter the better.
up22This perpetual multiple serial connectivity is precisely what “Pound” has achieved via a more alchemical than electronic contrivance–more skry-stone than cell phone. The irony, of course, is that the latter sort of digital irritant preserved our author’s art from the fate his body suffered in the salty tar of Utah’s Oquirrh* foothills.
*Alternate pronunciations of the name of this Gehenna that proved to be our author’s private boneyard include “Ocher” (alchemically significant as a blood substitute) and “Oh Queer” (with pertinence to the former peccadillo that dare not speak its name, unlidding a tin of psychosexual annelids which will be dealt with–or, rather, not–in subsequent pages).
up23Our author appears to be addressing us through his Celinian mask. But it’s clear he’s crying out to his increasingly lost self. The answer to his question will be found deep in the Salt Flats that surround the Oquirrh Mountains. No author has juxtaposed a more harrowing quintet of monosyllables.
up29With a single onomatopoeic monosyllable our author effects the metensomatotic miracle that requires the full obscene talents of headless Baubo as she diverts Demeter’s spirit in the midst of her nose-dive into the zygote–Madame Blavatsky’s “profoundest of mythos.” No greater feat of narrative virtuosity has come to the present annotator’s attention.
up32See the Keseyesque appendix, set in an institution similar to the one where that prankster merrily guinea-pigged himself in sinister pharmaceutical trials such as the present annotator would never submit to.
up33Despite such a curt dismissal of the venerable meter that captivated Gower and his more talented associate, this book of “Faucher’s” just happens to contain the most dazzlingly virtuosic feat of blank verse since Milton. (See note 170, “Lucid Dreaming.”)
up34There is some indication elsewhere in the oeuvre and correspondence and other data both aural and visual on his borderline derelict mobile phone, that our author, our Grimmest yet most Glistering of Mowers, was introduced to pataphysics through the fiction of Andrew Gallix, in particular the following passage (exhaustively analyzed by the present annotator in his second volume of literary criticism, Put It Down in a Book, pages 374-86):
Daintily, a faun-like figure stole across the cluttered room, pirouetting over the bottles and ashtrays that littered the splattered floorboards. She was the first to notice, having been awakened by a muffled squishy sound as of manifold foreskins peeled back in unison*… .Astrid, bent over a Formica table, Jackie O hairdo in disarray, retro ski pants concertinaed around her ankles, emitting unmistakably teutonic grunts while a rolly-polly Pataphysician with a twirly moustache bobbed up and down behind her in slo-mo.
–“Half-Hearted Confessions of a Gelignite Dolly-Bird”
*The reference to foreskins being pulled back (as opposed to languishing in impuissant puckers) would tend to support the present annotator in his rejection of certain colleagues’ assertions with regard to the notion of detumescence discussed above in note 13.
up35In numerous disparate embodiments, the protean tantric niece (Anna M., to be specific–see note 1) haunts these digital files like an evil jailbait seductress being beaten with a bass drumstick. She is none other than the corrupt woman of the Bhagavad Gita, discussed passim in the present apparatus.
up36Apologies are due to the purchaser and presumed reader of our book for the problematic nature of this line and similar so-called “non-linear” ones to follow. These can be explained, if not excused, by the combined deleterious effects upon Faucher’s mobile telephone of hanta-viral rodent urine, coyote saliva, ultraviolet radiation, windblown grit, and the sodium chloride contained in the suicide’s terminal tears of rejection. These have rendered the text, though presented in mini-pixels, to be digitally unmanipulable.
The present commentator/scrivener was forced to excavate the flawed and virtually useless magnifying glass that came with his copy of the Compact OED and transcribe this entire work (or such parts of it as are represented by alphabet and punctuation) by hand, with ballpoint and pencil, and to do so at speed because the port for the battery had fused shut due to the alkalinity of the soil, and the power was already four-fifths depleted upon retrieval.
Suffice it to say that the present annotator/transcriber has lived with this gimcrack like a venereal wart that has taken root in a masturbator’s fatigued palm. It has been a labor no less of love than learning. The Divine Faucher’s sublime mentality has seeped up through one’s ballpoint and into one’s own cranium. Indeed, this labor of abject, awe-stricken love has been more than requited by the countless deeper-than-sexual delights to be found between these covers and on these sheets, the plethora of uncorrupted lines of genius that proceed and follow this one (with ample hints at homosexuality elsewhere), presented on a screen not much bigger than a prophylactic packet smashed in a wallet such as “Faucher’s” remains were despoiled .
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kane X. Faucher is the author of several books, most recently The Vicious Circulation of Dr Catastrope (Enigmatic Ink, 2010). He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, living and working in the “other” London. He is currently at work on a book on metaphysics and a hefty novel on an infinite library. He can be found, like everything else, on Google.
Tom Bradley‘s latest books are Hemorrhaging Slave of an Obese Eunuch (Dog Horn Publishing), Acting Alone: a novel of nuns, neo-Nazis and Norade (Drill Press), and Bomb Baby (Enigmatic Ink). Further curiosity can be indulged at here.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, December 17th, 2010.