:: Article

Cortázar’s glass trap

By Richard Marshall.

Julio Cortázar, Fantomas versus the Multinational Vampires. An Attainable Utopia, Semiotext(e) 2014.

“Octavio Paz: “If you love art, do something, Fantomas!”
Fantomas: “I will, you can depend on it.”

Cortázar saw writing as a way of uncovering hidden – often terrifying – ontologies. He asks whether everything open to his gaze is trustworthy. He suspects the unknowable is fundamental, throwing him into a state of ambiguity and semi-darkness. His suspicion is the source of a tragic despair he writes to dispel. He seeks the truth about human life, about what all the actions, hopes, dreams, actuality, works and our foretold deaths really mean. He glimpses despair in a type of action – his writing – but also the overcoming of his despair through what the writing reveals. A writer’s despair is a kind of vague despair, where the line between where it begins or ends is unknowable. It’s the despair Kierkegaard summarises in ‘Sickness unto Death’ where he writes: ‘The life of actuality is too manifold simply to demonstrate such abstract oppositions as that between a despair that is entirely unconscious of being so and a despair that is conscious of being so. Most often the condition of the one who despairs – although here is too nuanced in manifold ways – is one of semi-darkness as regards his condition. He knows enough about himself to know to some extent that he is in despair, he notices it in himself as he notices in oneself that one has a certain bodily sickness but does not really acknowledge what the sickness is.’

What Cortázar intuits, and writes towards, is the hidden residue in a darkness that perhaps somewhere in his soul he believes can’t be eliminated. He nevertheless writes to find a secret spirit or soul that might exist in the darkness that shrouds a person’s existence. His despair is the realization that the complex web of relationships and histories that one is thrown into at birth, with all the decisive orientations into which a person is inducted – those moral, religious, ideological, political and personal endowments of biology and culture – may not determine who a person is without remainder. Perhaps after subtracting the accidental self founded on merely the repetition of an elder or a gene someone remains. Are we something beyond the accidents of birth and life? is what he asks as he writes. Cortázar writes to find ways of discovering this elusive remainder. He constructs worlds and people so that he may glimpse what lies elsewhere. His profoundest fear is that what will be revealed is an abyss.

John Locke’s analysis of personal identity understands ‘personal identity’ as a forensic or legal term according to Galen Strawson’s recent reading. Locke discussed the identity of a person in terms of those aspects for which someone could be held responsible. Discovering this ‘unit of accountability’ of a person is also what Cortázar was attempting to find. Locke writes about a person being conscious of a ‘field of concernment’, and this term was meant to include everything any person is aware of – pleasures and pains and concerns thereof. Our personal identity – the thing that has to face God on the Day of Judgement, say, consists of all moral actions and experiences from that cluster. Cortázar likewise is interested in the identity of his characters in just such a forensic, Lockean sense I think.

Cortázar wrote to discern not only the existential truth about a person but also, like Locke, the moral and legal truths about that person. He was a socially engaged writer involved in political realities. But as a post-Nietzschean, Cortázar knew that people aren’t rationally calculated audit sheets of little pleasures and pains tipping us towards concerns and interests like a Lockean existential accountant. He knew our drives are huge and powerful eruptions from shuddering innards. What drives us is not a double-entry sheet of accumulating experiences of pleasure and pain. It is a persisting, overwhelming situation, primarily concerning our power relationships with others. The visions of such drives are caused by singular events experienced – perhaps in infancy – as trauma. The visions are outstandingly stupid in the face of reality – are surreal, twisted and Lynchean, disguised in impenetrable shadows. They ignore laws of logic. Inner time, space and causality are insane and contradictory desires, aims and convictions coexist.

Nietzsche taught us all that everyone, deep down, is the Joker. Our inner trauma-governed compulsive madness is cunningly functional, hidden from our own consciousness and twisting what we are conscious of – reason, ideals, morality, ethics – to serve our inner crazy. Read like this Nietzsche is frightening. Freud and the gang gave us the housetrained version of this nihilism. The charlatan priests of psychoanalysis even now make promises they can’t keep to people too scared to stop listening. Cortázar writes to replace them.

But the despair of the writer trying to uncover the truth with this awareness of the deceitfulness of inner nighttime is compounded by his awareness of further obstacles. What if those ideals and values passed down in the light of day are the result of deceit too? How can we trust our families, our fathers and mothers passing down revered truths, if there are secrets which we cannot penetrate?

Kierkegaard makes this idea vivid with his ‘mysterious family at Nytorv 2.’ The point of the mysterious family is this, that the child is unable to even begin to understand his own spiritual situation without first knowing whether he is able to trust those of his family and their own situation. The family Kierkegaard describes – and it might have been his own or it might have been fictitious – seems to have a family history that remains in semi-darkness and self-mystification. If so then error may be passed on. But how can a child discover this? And in such a state, the child suddenly finds himself living a life that is random, accidental, where it is impossible for him to ever discover how to live the right life. ‘Right life’ here has a double sense: ‘right’ as in the good life, and also ‘right’ as in the correct one, the one fitting who the person genuinely is.

Kierkegaard of course talked about this sense of not being oneself as ‘sin’. His despair about the secret guilt of the mysterious family at Nytorv 2 is ‘the despair over one’s sin…’ which ‘… expresses the situation that sin has become or will become a continuous factor in one’s life.’ It is the reality that Kafka writes into, a reality, for Kierkegaard, where ‘… it will listen to itself alone, be occupied with itself alone, sit itself up with itself, indeed lock itself away behind as many locked doors as it can… secure itself against every ambush or striving that might come from the Good.’

The circumstances that occasioned the writing of Cortázar’s book in 1975 was one where the author had reached a triumphal point of uncovering and revealing great evil. As the Semiotext(e) blurb puts it: ‘Fantomas versus the Multinational Vampires is Julio Cortázar’s genre-jumping mash-up of his participation in the Second Russell Tribunal on human rights abuses in Latin America and his cameo appearance in issue number 201 of the Mexican comic book series Fantomas: The Elegant Menace. With his characteristic narrative inventiveness, Cortázar offers a quixotic meta-comic/novella that challenges not only the form of the novel but its political weight in contemporary cultural life.’

This tribunal had uncovered the truth but was expressing it merely as a symbol. Recognising this point Cortázar exposed himself to questions about the limit of that ontological quest he had set himself as a writer. What if writing – and the writing of the report seemed to show this – lacked the weight to press its truths into the world as action? What if writing the truth, even writing at the abyss, didn’t bring about action? Suddenly Cortázar faced the interminable crisis of the death of the novel again. What he wrote was an oblique commentary, but with an eschatological twist that forever threatened the exposed monsters. There’s a dynamo of hope in this hopelessness.

First published in Spanish in 1975 and previously untranslated, the blurb summarises it as follows:
‘Needing something to read on the train from Brussels (where he had attended the ineffectual tribunal meeting), our hero (Julio Cortázar) picks up the latest issue of the Fantomas comic. He grows increasingly absorbed by the comic book’s tale of bibliocide (a sinister bibliophobic plot to obliterate every book from the archives of humanity), especially when he sees the character Fantomas embark upon a series of telephone conversations with literary figures, starting with “The Great Argentine Writer” himself, Julio Cortázar (and also including Octavio Paz and a tough-talking Susan Sontag). Soon, Cortázar begins to erase the thin line between real-life atrocities and fictional mayhem in an attempt to bring attention to the human rights violations taking place with impunity in the country from which he was exiled.’
Cortázar is, according to Semiotext(e) ‘One of the most influential literary figures to emerge from Argentina in the twentieth century, Julio Cortázar is best remembered for his experimental 1963 counter-novel ‘Hopscotch’ (Rayuela) and for his short story “Blow-up,” on which the 1966 film by Michelangelo Antonioni was based. Cortázar was officially exiled by the Argentine junta in the 1970s and spent the rest of his life in France, where he died in 1984.’

So in this book we’re reaching back through time to a place where Nietzsche’s monsters hide behind names. Their disguises endlessly loop back to escape a final word: ‘They have a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand names,” said the narrator, “but above all they’re called ITT, they’re called Nixon and Ford, Henry Kissinger or CIA or DIA, they’re called Pinochet or Banzer or López Rega, they’re called General or Colonel or Technocrat or Fleury or Stroessner, they have those special names where every name means thousands of names, the way the word ant means a multitude of ants even though the dictionary defines it in the singular.’

Cortázar always occupied ‘the red area’, as he called it, the revolutionary leftist place where revolution was not merely happening at the outset nor overturning just material aspects but was total. From the red area literature itself was to be revolutionized: in a debate with Vargas Llosa in the late sixties Cortázar said that ‘revolutionary novels are not simply ones that have revolutionary “content”, they are ones that seek to revolutionize the novel itself…’ and in a second debate in 1970 in Paris, again with Llosa, he talked about his ‘ … lonely cultural vocation, his stubborn ontological quest… his games of the imagination…’ These were both writers – one in the red zone, one leaving it, – both wanted writing action to be part of non-writing action. Was this part of their despair, recognizing the failure of the novel to carry this extra punch?

At the time of writing Cortázar was getting grief for being too intellectual from certain leftist quarters (as well as grief for being a Marxist from fascists) and perhaps used the comic pulp genre to suggest that he wasn’t of the hated bourgeois elite after all. But there’s too much zest and flash in the quality of writing and the ideas to doubt that the novel’s more than merely a sop to his critics. The book was indeed his attempt to reconcile aesthetic with socio-political aims using pulp fiction and comic strip forms to highlight socio-political issues regarding sinister US multinationals and the US state department activity led by Nixon and Kissinger. But its terminal playfulness also warned against hardening revolutionary stances (such as what he called the ‘chitinization’ of the Cuban party line that he criticized at the time and which led to him being banned from Cuba by Castro for years) and the leftist revolutionary predilection for vanguardism and ‘hero leaders.’ And throughout he also sketched and played with the idea of the death of the novel. The (spoiler alert!) failure of Fontomas to defeat the monsters suggests that Cortázar was calling for a new type of heroism. In an analogous sense, he wrote a novel eating itself, suggesting a new writing form is likewise required.

Yet in combining the conventional novel form with comic pulp perhaps he was also channeling the internal resources of the two genre’s to limn what he desired. He was ‘… witnessing the decline of one worldview and the rise of another that is quite different … casting … eyes back to a region of dear shadows, strolling with Achilles in Hades while murmuring the names that so many young people today are forgetting, because they must forget them: Holderlin, Keats, Leopardi, Mallarme, Dario, Salinas, shadows among so many others in the life of an Argentine who wanted to read it all, embrace it all.’ Perhaps at the moment of the crisis where he confronts the novel’s ineffectiveness Cortázar was reimagining the form and giving it new powers by mashing it to comic pulps..

If Cortázar himself didn’t have enough time left to explore this, we can from the vantage point of 2014 look back and see that soon after Cortázar’s death the comic pulp novel became for a time capable of resurrecting the novel. Alan Moore, for one, had happened by 1986 with his now legendary ‘Watchman’ graphic novel and in the same year mad bad Frank Miller took the Batman into the ‘Dark Knight’ universe with his overwhelmingly ineluctable ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns’. Both dealt with sinister real politics. Nixon is still President in the ‘Watchman’ story and Superman was a US State department fascist super-weapon fighting South American Marxist governments of the poor in ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ . But they do so like huge insects buzzing between your legs – compelling, hallucinatory and utterly alarming. These were heavyweight comic pulps capable of delivering more necro brain jizz than most so-called ‘literary fiction’ has ever managed in the intervening years.

They spun out of the quick fire drive of what all great pulp fiction has, amplifying pulp’s strengths rather than replacing them with something else, working as complementary acts. Alan Moore is by now recognized as one of our great contemporary writers and the comic pulp genre is alive and crackling. Of course pulp – and genre writing generally – has always been agile enough to bend itself to vast metaphysical, socio-political, epistemological and ideological ends. ‘Gilbert Sheldon and the fabulous Furry Freak Brothers’ bottles many of the energies Cortázar began tapping in his Fantomas outing. Stewart Home has been skewering complacent bourgeois high cultural snooze for decades with his own brand of dissenting pulp warp, rewiring Richard Allen’s high concept right wing stuff so it runs out from the red zone instead. When Steve Wells started Attack! Books in 2000 Home was one of the six authors on a list where again we were given the kind of pulp political update that Cortázar was trying out back in ‘75. But these were all spinning off what had happened – and not just in writing but in music and film too – so it was harder edged, darker and ruder. And let’s not be dumb enough to think that we hadn’t already had the kind of subversive pulp that Cortázar was trying out before ‘75: Philip Jose Farmer’s erotic sci-fi horror ‘Image of the Beast’ had been out by 1968, we’d had Benway on yage with his baboon assistant – ‘only woman I ever cared a damn about’ in ‘Naked Lunch’ since 1959, Iceberg Slim had been with his ‘Pimp’ since ’69, Ishmael Reed’s ‘The Last Days of Louisiana Red’ by ’74, Ballard, Bunuel, on top of all the Oz and Crumb, and other crazy angles with punk literally spitting itsef into being the same year this came on.

So it’s because we’re now reading it after the ‘86 comic book revolution, and the punk thing, and each and every subversive whatever that’s happened since, that makes it hard to know whether it was able to cut deep back then. But looking at it from this distance its still earning credits for being smart, good looking and on message. Cortázar caught the energies of Mexican pulps in the ‘60s and ‘70s that were extremely popular at the time – by the mid seventies 56 million were produced, by the eighties 80 million, and this was before the pulps morphed into soft and mega violent porn by the end of the eighties. The mass market in porn and erotic pulp that the eighties started is yet to get tested to revolutionary limits as a response to the death of the novel crisis (with honourable exceptions found in some of Home’s work and some of the Attack! Books, the output of Creation Books, Stephen Barber, as well as in the subversive surrealism of Ballard). But Cortázar’s moving into the comic pulp form was such a response, a test to see what might happen. We recall Burroughs: the purpose of writing is ‘to make something happen.’

Cortázar knew where the potency of the Mexican pulps lay. Even their cover illustrations maximized so as to disturb and penetrate readers’ fears and nightmares. Their protagonists were ordinary Joe’s, their audiences a Southern American proletariat with the usual list of problems – alcoholism, infidelity, domestic fallouts, poor decisions and escalating calamities. This audience was poor and able to relate to the depicted victims of inequality. But instead of gritty naturalism the illustrators showed how death, mysticism and supernatural time leak into everyone. They showed how upheavals of mundane defeats criss-cross with myths and legends of ghouls, zombies, aliens and phantoms. They showed super-intelligent children trapping officers of the law to murder, aliens in hoops who float through dark skies from flying saucers hovering over dark trees. They showed faces leaving a picture frame to abstractly shimmer, shadow figures with strangler’s hands approaching beautiful golden-faced women, ant men who follow hysterical beauties in crimson dresses. They showed nuclear bombs exploding the village barn-dance, scantily dressed girls in boxes, red skulls dripping through time and space, pale skeletons rising from coffins like moths, yellow pirate ghosts and green treasures, prehistoric dinosaurs in modern cityscapes, purple hands on the necks of strangled men, crows with green human heads flying towards a window. They showed all this and more piled up like a compilation from all the ‘Coffin Joe’ movies ever made. They depicted a surrealistic garishness in painted neon colour.

The cover of the Cortázar book works in this same phantasmagoric atmosphere – here we have the Mexican Fantomas, white masked, elegant, shooting his ray gun amidst burning books from the disappearing libraries of the plotline. The vigor of the picture confirms the irony, sarcasm and surreal humour that peppered all those pulp comic covers. And with its weird play and serious derangements the book is recognisably a typical Cortázar performance, moving expectations around, setting up one connection only to twist it unexpectedly, and usually sinisterly, into another. It has a freedom that gives the plot and narration a loose limber spirit. This connects him with familiar elements of his own oeuvre – even to details such as the reference to vampires!

In ‘Encounter With A Red Circle’ vampires are hinted at as creeping about just below the surface of the liminal meaning. In that story he toys with the reader. He dedicates the story to Borges, setting us up to look out for hints of those paradoxical and impossible universes so familiar to the knowing reader. We’re drawn down that wild path knowing that Cortázar writes to a similar labyrinthine weirdness but in ways that are murkier. But then, in a Borgesian footnote, he explains that the dedication was actually not to the writer, Jorges Luis Borges but to the painter, Jacobo Borges. He forces the reader to recalibrate and pivot away from first expectations and assumptions to go somewhere else. In doing this he keeps his reader always off-balance and asks them to be ready to change horses and direction mid-stream, as it were, to never trust first appearances, to keep themselves open to revolutionary possibilities. The story is consciously artificial and vaguely political with the painted red circle of blurred military figures circling the reader’s mind like a terrible dream of something that is actually happening as we read about it, like a remainder of a desire that only lives as it becomes dangerously articulated.

He does that kind of thing many times. We’re often left uncomfortable and wondering whether the last twist was a twist too far, or that something else other than understanding it was required. In ‘The Night Face Up’ Cortázar gives us a crashed motorcyclist suddenly experiencing an Aztec human sacrifice where space and time are transcended so that what was reality at the start is flushed out as an ‘endless lie’ and the hallucinatory Mexican scene of the ‘overwhelming city, with green and red lights that burned with no flames or smoke…’ again bends the reader out of one narrative trajectory and into something else altogether.

Cortázar writes to create traps that lead us in but lie about having an exit. There is no exit. Because of this we’re always wondering about the nature of the relationship being developed. In ‘One Step Forward, One Step Backward’ he tells the story of the fly who finds she can pass through glass but then finds out glass is a trap. A Hungarian scientist has invented a one-way process whereby the fly can’t get back out via the glass through which it entered. It’s a picture of how he works his fictions. His stories are made out of one way glass.

In ‘Moebius Strip’ he writes of a girl cycling in France who is raped and murdered by an orphan and misfit. He pulls out all the stops to write brilliantly whils’t suggesting a detail trapping us with its disturbing implication. The girl struggled but not to stop the attack. At the end she is waiting for the rapist and murderer at the other side of death. The reader is caught in a lurid abyss. Cortázar makes all the strands and images of the story coalesce so we can’t get out of their meshed skein. We’re left with no option but to need something else once the act of reading is over. The story’s violence is a layer of destiny that modern readers eschew whilst elsewhere secreting it upon themselves like a musk perfume via what Cortázar calls ‘reverse tangos’ where we abandon a kind of reality and flesh out a falsification that is both escapism and new life. It all comes crashing down in a type of grotesque despair. Cortázar beckons his readers towards the overdose and murder readers find so seductive and subliminally autobiographical, though paradoxically experienced as elsewhere and someone else.

From this sense of doubling gaze, the good eye and the evil eye seducing reality, Cortázar brings violence and sex together in many of his stories. In ‘Las Armas Secretas’ the ghost of a dead German rapist haunts the husband of the woman the German raped. Possessing the husband’s body the ghost repeats the brutal act and we are to believe she understands what it means. Through the eyes of the rapist, woman and ghost Cortázar makes us ask which reality is being possessed by the narrative. In turn we are reminded that Kierkegaard wrote about the Great Seducer whose glance steals reality from his victims by possessing the image he imposes. Kierkegaard’s Christ was a version of this. Evil eye, good eye.

In his Fantomas book insidiously disturbing tropes of sex and violence are absent. In the story there are sexy assistants in mini skirts named after the signs of the Zodiac but these are lifted straight from the Fantomas comic genre he was using and he does nothing with them. They work as merely sexy sexist eye-wash. This Mexican version of Fantomas he’s using has little to do with the original of Allaine and Souvestre version. It conflates bits of the French Fantomas but is more a combo of Maurice Leblanc’s Arsene Lupin, Louis Feuillade’s ‘Judex’ and pre-Dark knight Batman.

Real life brutalities and all their surreal violence and horror are here but wrapped in po-mo jokes. They’re like the chocolate-covered cockroaches fed to the fiancée of the deadly protagonist in another of his short stories, ‘Circe’. In this story we’re given a family who suspect. They are reluctant to eat the chocolates. The evil that is done is a kind of neurosis where what attracts us destroys us. Like an evil spider sorceress it’s the artificiality that kills. Artifice is Cortázar’s prime resource.

His famous story ‘Las Babas del diablo’ asks all the familiar questions about how the author releases the story from a Borgesean idealism and perspectivism. How can a story give up the version rather than merely a version? In this story – the basis of the movie ‘Blow Up’ as noted earlier – the photographer faces issues of permutation analogous to those of the writer, where ‘all looking reeks of falsehood’ and is condemned as being ‘guilty of literature.’ The picture that comes to life, the falling typewriter, the death of the author and the horror that changes images of clouds, pigeons and what appears in the window are not there to show-case technical inventiveness but are about the creative impulses of ordering and explanation, impulses that feed the material of the Second Russell Tribunal in Brussels attended by Cortázar.

It makes the point that it is just a story. And that just telling a story, even creating a symbol, could never be enough. Cortázar’s judgment of the judgment of the Tribunal was that it had substituted action for symbolism. Doing so condemned the Tribunal in his eyes. It defined the very limits of being a writer. The horror of the Pirandellian modernist impulse is its being caught up in the middle of something where the writer and the writing slips out of the picture, where there is nothing left for the writer to do but lurch into a confusion involving betrayal and poison, and any writing ends up as a sort of whitewash and collusion using one way glass.

This is the wild conclusion of ‘The Other Heaven’, his last story, where the narrator loses track of more or less everything he started, and finds himself an expelled translator of ‘ something by Borges and/or Bioy’. What began there as a search for his beloved Poe’s Anabel Lee ends : ‘Looking for Anabel in the recesses of time always brings me back to myself, and its so dreary to write about myself even though I like to carry on imagining myself writing about Anabel…’ and so we are to understand that ‘… access to men’s dreams, to their secret heaven and its remote stars, those that are invoked when the light of dawn and destiny are in play…’ led to the Minotaur, the monster of his first work. He suggests that the remedy to monstrousness was ‘acceptance.’ It is a desperate and despairing conclusion.

The play ‘Los Reyes’ is where we find his Minotaur in a place, ‘… clear and desolate, with a chilly sun and central gardens in which call-less birds fly above the image…’, a monstrousness between a ‘black heart and the white sun’ in someone else’s ‘delight of horror.’ Here is a world of ‘Gods nourished by fearsome dialectics,’ where the writer and the evil in the world have something in common that they share in private as ‘meticulously woven destinies.’ The writer at the tribunal writes out the evil – personified as the Minotaur, and is ‘..obliged to incarcerate him…’ In doing so he finds the creature ‘… is taking advantage of my having to incarcerate him. I am his prisoner’. The Minotaur is carried inside him, ‘in the dark recesses of the will…’, releasing the horrors there. It is another version of the story made out of glass. In the play the horror is Ariadne’s lust for the Minotaur; for Cortázar it’s the impossibility of translatability without collusion of getting the testimonies of the Tribunal down to the right version and then acting upon it. What is being woven in these narrative threads is discreet and repulsive and relentless, ‘ the frightening designs woven in the shadows by the great Mothers.’ Nixon and Kissinger empty the labyrinth of the writer, are the woven fabrics of something that no writer can control, organize, understand, change, or empty, a grey mythic arbitrariness whose monstrousness has no ground and no sky but is an emissary of horror faked as destiny, converting Borges’ labyrinth into something endlessly sinister, ‘just as dew envelops Arachne’s tapestry in silvery betrayal.’ The failure of Fantomas in the story to save the world is just another version of the resounding failure of the Tribunal’s findings to lead to action.

Cortázar’s conception of writing is about discovering an ontology – both of persons and society – in which actual human existence is disclosed through an imaginary presentation. It doesn’t embed a systematic metaphysics but rather seeks a truth about us requiring a sudden moment of revolutionary transition. Plato found it hard to place revolutionary transition ‘in the realm of the purely metaphysical’. Hegel’s dialectic also failed because Hegel’s sense of time and change equalises every event with every other. Hegel’s account fails to account for the privileged revolutionary sudden change that takes place at the abyss. This is the open event in what Kierkegaard calls ‘the realm of historical freedom.’ It’s here that Cortázar parts company with his friend Jorge Luis Borges whose spurious and stubborn infinity prevents such transition. This sudden transition is the moment when symbol, expression, thought, imagination turns in an instant to sudden action. This revolutionary transition he sought existed for him as the truth of his realm of historical freedom. His plays, stories and novels are pivots from which the fullness of time is realised, where ‘the fullness of time is an instant as the eternal, and yet this eternal is also the future and the past,’ as Kierkegaard said. Cortázar’s imaginative work aimed to bring about the revolutionary category of transition once and forever in the face of gigantic inequality where all vast wealth is sinister.

As a writer Cortázar wrote towards that instant when evil men and their systems are overturned and saw it as a complex occurrence that involves the whole of reality, its past, present and future, the vast carnival of persons, a bright sustenance of renewal and repetition, the incarnation of what should ultimately count as real like we find in Marquez and Bolaño at the very end of the world.

Richard Marshall is still biding his time.

Buy the book here to keep him biding!

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, September 21st, 2014.