The blog of author Dennis Cooper

24 unfinished novelists


Denton Welch‘s A Voice Through a Cloud was written largely during the final racking months before Welch’s heart gave out. Echoing his own tragedy, it is a lyric, rebellious plaint of pain, fear and despair. The novel is also devastating in ways Welch did not intend. It breaks down painfully towards the end as Welch’s physical condition became so dire that he was capable only of writing one sentence at a time, and the exertion of doing even this would exhaust and sicken him so severely he would need to lie very still for hours afterwards with a cold compress on his forehead until he regained the strength to add another sentence. The last few pages become insensible and the novel ends abruptly with Welch’s final, inconclusive thought.’ — Michael de la Noy



The Splendor And Misery Of Bodies, Of Cities was intended as Samuel R. Delaney‘s sequel to his classic novel Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand, but it looks like it will never see the light of day. Asked recently if he would ever finish and publish the sequel, Delaney’s answer was “Probably not, I can’t say for sure. Again, I haven’t written it off entirely. I did write about 150 pages of it at some point. But a number of things had come up to undercut it. I’ve explained it many, many times, and don’t mind explaining it again. I was in a major relationship at that time, that kind of fueled the first volume, Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand. And that relationship broke up, and that was the beginning of the Eighties, at the same time the AIDS situation came in. A lot of it, as the diptych was originally planned out, was a celebration of lot of the stuff I saw at the time in the gay world. Sort of in allegorical form, a lot of that was being celebrated. There was a lot of the gay situation that made me rethink some of that, not in any kind of simplistic way, but in a fairly complicated way. So between the personal breakup, which was an eight-year relationship that came to ane nd, and the changes in the world situation, there were other things that sort of grabbed my interest more. That made the second one a little hard to go on. I still think there are some valid things to be said about it, in that second volume. And it’s quite… I’ve got two or three more books, that I really would like to write, and at this point, my books take me three to five years. So that’s 15 years, and I’m practically 70 years old. So I’ll be in my 80s when those books are done, and I don’t know whether I’m going to be writing anything, or even if I’m going to be here”.’ — io9



‘Throughout Jane Bowles’s letters, the unceasing lament about not-writing, “I have decided not to become hysterical, however. If I cannot write my book, then I shall give up writing, that’s all. Then either suicide or another life. It is rather frightening to think of. I don’t believe I would commit suicide, though intellectually it seems the only way out.” The book, a novel entitled Out in the World about a character whose goal is to “bed like God”, a follow-up to Two Serious Ladies, went unfinished.’ — dabney



Campo Santo is a hybrid volume, a posthumous act of packaging by W.G. Sebald’s German publisher Hanser.When Sebald died December 14, 2001, very shortly after the appearance of his fourth work of prose, Austerlitz, he apparently had not begun a new prose project. The crucial part of this book is the first section, which contains the four prose four pieces. After finishing The Rings of Saturn in the mid 1990s, Sebald, we are told, began a book on Corsica, which he eventually set aside in favor of Austerlitz. According to the editor of Campo Santo Sven Meyer, the Corsican fragments form the only new prose pieces by Sebald we are likely to see. The Corsican prose pieces in Campo Santo pose interesting questions for the reader of Sebald.The most obvious issue to me concerns the lack of images in the three main pieces. All four of Sebald’s full-length prose works employ images as an essential part of the “text.”But, with one exception, and that including an image not chosen by Sebald himself, the Corsican pieces are devoid of images. Was this going to be an unillustrated work or would Sebald have added images before finishing the manuscript?’ — Vertigo



‘When Dashiell Hammett died of lung cancer Jan. 10, 1961, at age 66, he was a broken man. The architect of the modern American crime novel and the author of five classic works, Hammett was nearly penniless at the time of his death, his income attached by the Internal Revenue Service, his health destroyed by a six-month stint in federal prison. Despite his fragile health, he smoked and drank heavily and was prone to alcoholic blackouts. As he grew older, he wrote less and drank more until, finally, he wrote not at all. In his letters, Hammett makes reference to dozens of novels in progress, books with titles such as Dead Man’s Friday, Toward Z and The Valley Sheep, all unfinished – or more likely never begun. The only incomplete Hammett novel for which any manuscript materials survives is The Secret Emperor. Working notes for The Secret Emperor, which was Hammett’s first, never-finished novel, show that it included elements he later used in The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key.’ — Wallace Stroby



‘Novelist Terry Pratchett died at his home from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on the morning of 12 March 2015. He was 66 years old. Pratchett left “an awful lot” of unfinished writing, including a new novel in his famous and popular Discworld series. Pratchett told Neil Gaiman that anything that he had been working on at the time of his death should be destroyed by a steamroller. On 25 August 2017, his assistant Rob Wilkins fulfilled this wish by crushing Pratchett’s hard drive under a steamroller at the Great Dorset Steam Fair.’ — Stephanie Convery



Michael Chabon began writing Fountain City as a follow-up to his fine 1989 debut novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. The story centered on an architect who dreamed of building the perfect baseball stadium. After five years, he gave up on the project. “Often when I sat down to work,” Chabon wrote later about the abandoned novel, “I would feel a cold hand take hold of something inside my belly and refuse to let go. It was the Hand of Dread. I ought to have heeded its grasp.” He also wrote in the margins of Fountain City: “A book itself threatens to kill its author repeatedly during its composition.” It was a novel, he added, that he could feel “erasing me, breaking me down, burying me alive, drowning me, kicking me down the stairs.” Upon abandoning the project, he immediately changed gears and wrote his next novel Wonder Boys in seven months.’ — A New Fiction Writers Forum



‘A sniper, a black man, situates himself by an upper-floor window overlooking a street filled with white police officers busy overseeing a protest march. He proceeds to shoot and kill as many of them as possible from his vantage point with a high-powered rifle, before the police deploy an even more powerful weapon to retaliate and end his killing spree. these events are taken from Chester Himes’s novel Plan B, which he started writing in the late 1960s and which was finally published posthumously, unfinished, in France in 1983, and not in the US until 1993. By the time Himes began Plan B he had grown tired of depicting scenes of disorganised violence, and increasingly struggled with the task of reconciling his detectives to the demands of upholding racist laws. With Plan B, he envisages what a violent black uprising might look like and what its consequences would be. In the novel the knockabout brutalities of his two detectives are replaced with acts of straightforward political intent. “If there must be violence,” Himes declared, “I believe it should be organised violence”.’ — The Conversation



The Temple at Thatch was Evelyn Waugh’s first attempt at a novel, and its failure temporarily derailed him. Waugh began writing the book in 1924 during his final year as an undergraduate. The plot, according to diary entries, is largely autobiographical and based on the writer’s experiences at Oxford, with themes of madness and black magic. So what went wrong? In 1925 he gave the manuscript to his friend Harold Action, who criticized the book (Action later said: “It was an airy Firbankian trifle, totally unworthy of Evelyn, and I brutally told him so. It was a misfired jeu d’esprit.”). Waugh was so distraught that he burned the manuscript and went to the beach and started swimming out. In his biography, Waugh said: “Did I really intend to drown myself? That was certainly in my mind.” But a short way out, he was attacked by a jellyfish and swam back. For a while afterward, he stayed away from fiction writing, but soon returned.’ — PW



‘In the early 1980s, I started an epistolary novel called The Plant. I published limited editions of the first three short volumes, giving them out to friends and relatives (folks who are usually but not always the same) as funky Christmas cards. I gave The Plant up not because I thought it was bad but because other projects intervened. At the time I quit, the work in progress was roughly 25,000 words long. It told the story of a sinister plant—sort of a vampire-vine—that takes over the offices of a paperback publishing company, offering financial success in trade for human sacrifices. The story struck me as both scary and funny.’ Stephen King



Truman Capote signed the initial contract for the novel Answered Prayers on January 5, 1966 with Random House. This agreement provided a $25,000 advance with a stipulated delivery date of January 1, 1968. Distracted by the success of his “nonfiction novel,” In Cold Blood, the Black and White Ball, television projects, short pieces and increasing personal demons, Capote missed his 1968 deadline. In July 1969 the contract was renegotiated, granting a “substantially larger advance” in exchange for a trilogy to be delivered in January 1973. The delivery date was further delayed to January 1974 and September 1977. A final agreement in early 1980 would have yielded Capote $1,000,000 to have been paid only if he submitted the manuscript by March 1, 1981. This final deadline was not kept. Capote first envisioned Answered Prayers as an American analog to Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past that would come to be regarded as his masterwork.

‘In the years prior to his death, Capote frequently read chapters from Answered Prayers to friends at dinners, but such was his gift of storytelling that few could discern whether he was actually reading from a manuscript or improvising. He attempted to sell one of the chapters to Esquire sometime in the early 1980s but balked and feigned illness when an editor asked to see the story. Capote claimed that lover John O’Shea had absconded with “A Severe Insult to the Brain” in 1977 and sued for repossession, but he eventually reconciled with O’Shea and dropped the lawsuit. At least one Capote associate claims to have acted as a courier for the full manuscript. According to Joseph Fox, four of Capote’s friends claim to have read drafts of “Father Flanagan’s All-Night Nigger Queen Kosher Cafe” and “A Severe Insult to the Brain”. Capote regularly cited dialogue and plot points from these chapters in multiple conversations with Fox that never wavered or changed over the years. In his editor’s note, Fox “hesitantly” theorized that the two chapters did exist at one juncture but were destroyed by Capote in the 1980s.

‘Shortly before his death in 1984, Capote informed his friend Joanne Carson that he had finally finished Answered Prayers and was preparing to die in peace. Carson allegedly had read the three chapters prior to this date and described them as being “very long.” On the morning preceding his death, Capote handed a key to Carson for a safe deposit box or locker that contained the completed novel, stating that “the novel will be found when it wants to be found.” When Carson pressed Capote for a precise location, he offered a myriad of locations in various cities. An exhaustive search for the manuscript after Capote’s death yielded nothing.’ —



Seth Morgan wrote his first novel, the blistering Homeboy, during a brief layover between heroin habits. But despite a decent critical reception and a promising literary future, Seth jumped right back up on that horse. Maybe it was that five-figure advance on the paperback, burning a hole in his pocket. Shortly after the book’s release, Morgan died in a drunken bike wreck. His second novel, Mambo Mephiste, was by his own account to be the definitive Mardi Gras novel. But only a few chapters and a synopsis exist, rescued from his apartment before it was tossed by the neighborhood junkies.’ —



Lana Del Rey posted to Instagram this week to tell fans that a backpack containing her laptop, hard drives and three cameras were stolen from her car in a Los Angeles robbery a few months ago. In a series of since-deleted videos shared to the singer-songwriter’s @honeymoon account that’ve been reposted by fans, she informed followers of the incident and revealed a 200-page novel manuscript, as well as various unfinished songs and personal camera footage, were among the items lost. “I had to remotely wipe the computer that had my 200-page novel for Simon & Schuster, which I didn’t have backed up on a cloud,” said Del Rey, 37, who noted that she doesn’t have access to “any cloud systems.”‘ — Jack Irvin



Philip K Dick‘s last wife has reworked the novel the legendary science fiction author was working on when he died in 1982. Tessa Dick, who described her self-publication of The Owl in Daylight as a tribute to her former husband, was Dick’s fifth and final wife, marrying him in 1973. She told online magazine the Self-Publishing Review that her version of the novel was an attempt to express “the spirit” of Dick’s proposed book. Little is known about the novel, which Dick mentioned in a letter to his editor and agent. Very little material exists and it might be more accurate (if poor English!) to say that it is his unstarted novel. Tessa points out, Phil “spent months working out the plots for his novels” before committing them to paper: “The typing, however, is not the writing.” According to Tessa, the letter to Dick’s agent revealed plans to “have a great scientist design and build a computer system and then get trapped in its virtual reality. The computer would be so advanced that it developed human-like intelligence and rebelled against its frivolous purpose of managing a theme park”. The letter also mentioned Dante’s Inferno and the Faust legend, she said.’ — Science Fiction World



The Buccaneers is the last novel written by Edith Wharton. The story is set in the 1870s, around the time Wharton was a young girl. It was unfinished at the time of her death in 1937 and published in that form in 1938. Wharton’s manuscript ends with Lizzy inviting Nan to a house party, to which Guy Thwaite has also been invited. The book was published in 1938 by Penguin Books in New York. After some time, Marion Mainwaring finished the novel, following Wharton’s detailed outline, in 1993. The novel received positive and negative reactions from critics. It was often referred to as the “unfinished novel”. The main questions asked by critics were: “Is this really her legacy?” and “Was there enough left of the book to publish in the first place?”‘ — Percy Hutchinson



Prince Jellyfish is an unpublished novel by American journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson. The novel was Thompson’s first, written around 1960 while he was in his early 20s and was working as a reporter for the Middletown Daily Record in New York State. Thompson had moved to Middletown from New York City, where he worked briefly as a copy boy for Time. Little is known about the book, although in Thompson’s obituary, The Guardian described it as “an autobiographical novel about a boy from Louisville, going to the big city and struggling against the dunces to make his way.” The book was rejected by a number of literary agents before Thompson moved briefly to Puerto Rico and then moved on to writing his next novel, The Rum Diary. The Rum Diary, too, was rejected by every literary agent to whom Thompson shopped it, and it remained unpublished until 1998, long after Thompson had become famous.’ – collaged



‘The writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide on September 12th of last year. His wife, Karen Green, came home to find that he had hanged himself on the patio of their house, in Claremont, California. For many months, Wallace had been in a deep depression. The condition had first been diagnosed when he was an undergraduate at Amherst College, in the early eighties; ever since, he had taken medication to manage its symptoms. During this time, he produced two long novels, three collections of short stories, two books of essays and reporting, and Everything and More, a history of infinity. Wallace in his final hours had “…tidied up the manuscript of a novel he had been writing for over ten years so that his wife could find it. Below it, around it, inside his two computers, on old floppy disks in his drawers were hundreds of other pages—drafts, character sketches, notes to himself, fragments that had evaded his attempt to integrate them into the novel. The novel had numerous working titles, some of them including ‘Gliterrer’, ‘SJF’ (‘Sir John Feelgood’), ‘What is Peoria For?’, and ‘The Long Thing’, although he had settled on The Pale King. The drafts tell of a group of employees at an Internal Revenue Service center in Illinois, and how they deal with the tediousness of their work. The partial manuscript—which Little, Brown plans to publish next year—expands on the virtues of mindfulness and sustained concentration. Wallace was trying to write differently, but the path was not evident to him. “I think he didn’t want to do the old tricks people expected of him,” Karen Green, his wife, says. “But he had no idea what the new tricks would be.” The problem went beyond technique. The central issue for Wallace remained how to in his words give “CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.”’ — collaged from various sources



Robert Musil worked on his monumental novel The Man Without Qualities for more than twenty years. Some of Musil’s working titles were The Gutters, Achilles (the original name of the main character Ulrich) or The Spy. Musil’s aim (and that of his main character, Ulrich) was to arrive at a synthesis between strict scientific fact and the mystical, which he refers to as “the hovering life.” He started in 1921 and spent the rest of his life writing it. When he died in 1942, the novel was not completed. The first two books were published in 1930, the last and unfinished one posthumously by his wife Martha in 1942. He worked on his novel almost every day, leaving his family in dire financial straits. The novel brought neither fame nor fortune to Musil or his family. This was one of the reasons why he felt bitter and unrecognized during the last two decades of his life. Musil thought he had many years of productive work ahead of him, when he could complete his great novel. But the author died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage, after an exercise session, on April 15, 1942. He was sixty-two years old. Critics speculate on the viability of Musil’s original conception. Some estimate the intended length of the work to be twice as long as the text Musil left behind. As published, the novel ends in a large section of drafts, notes, false-starts and forays written by Musil as he tried to work out the proper ending for his book. In the German edition, there is even a CD-ROM available that holds thousands of pages of alternative versions and drafts.’ — Ted Gioia, Exhuming Robert Musil



‘A work in progress at the time of Piero Paolo Pasolini‘s murder, the novel Petrolio exists as a made up of a series of notes – some extended and polished narrative passages, others cryptic messages from the author to himself that consist of no more than a few words. At the novel’s center is Carlo, an oil executive who undergoes a profound personality split: Carlo 1 is a super-Machiavellian power monger; Carlo 2 lives only to satisfy his perverse and insatiable sexual desires. Carlo also experiences a sexual metamorphosis in which he becomes, at will, female. The story of Carlo is interspersed with re-visions of myth – Oedipus, Medea, the Argonauts – and of Dante’s hell. The teller of this story appears to have been intended to be dual in nature. There is the author – the external shaper of the novel – who interrupts the text to comment on its mechanics and its meaning. And there is the narrator, whose cynical and seductive perspective comes from within Petrolio’s fictional world. Fragmentary, deliberately self-referential, meta-literary, schizoid, a devotional exploration of the male libido, an ode to the lust for power and the power of lust and, above all, a failed, piecemeal by default yet wrenching attempt to define the intellectual and his responsibilities.’ — The Grand Continent



Jim Carroll, the legendary Manhattan poet and punk rocker, died of a heart attack on Friday, Sept. 12, at the age of 60. Recently, Carroll, the author of The Basketball Diaries, had been working on a new novel called Triptych; his longtime editor at Penguin, Paul Slovak, said that it “tells the story of a hermetic and mystical 35-year-old painter who becomes kind of a golden boy in the late ’80s New York art world. It’s a very moving examination of spiritual bankruptcy and other themes in both art and life.” Mr. Slovak said Carroll had turned in revisions of the first two parts of the novel, but didn’t know how far he’d gotten on the third. He said it was possible something would come of the work, pending a conversation with Carroll’s literary agent, Betsy Lerner, but that it was too soon to tell.’ — The New York Observer



Richard Yates wrote at least three masterpieces: Revolutionary Road, Easter Parade (clearly recognized seminal novels of America in the second half of the 20th Century), and Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, a superb collection of his early short stories. Yates was a kind of F. Fitzgerald of the 1960’s, writing novels and story volumes about doomed post-WWII idealists colliding with reality. Yates’ first books were hailed, but his later efforts received mixed reviews, and were seldom read. He kept at his trade through illness, nervous breakdowns, and drink by editors like Sam Lawrence at Delacorte and Esquire’s Gordon Lish. Yates also wrote speeches for Bobby Kennedy, and taught creative writing at the University of Iowa. When the hard drinking, heavy smoking Yates died of emphysema in 1992, at the age of 66, none of his books remained in print. In the last month of his life, Richard Yates was working against deadline to finish his final (never completed andas yet unpublished) novel, Uncertain Times, based on his experience with Bobby Kennedy. He was in a skid row room (the kind he preferred to live and work in), surrounded by dead cockroaches he killed on work breaks, breathing oxygen for his emphysema from a huge canister, still smoking.’ — Zimbio



Woes of the True Policeman is a project that was begun at the end of the 1980s and continued until Robert Bolaño’s death. A version of the novel was eventually published consisting sections collated from typescripts and computer documents. In a 1995 letter, Bolaño wrote: “Novel: for years I’ve been working on one that’s titled Woes of the True Policeman and which is MY NOVEL. The protagonist is a widower, 50, a university professor, 17-year-old daughter, who goes to live in Santa Teresa, a city near the U.S. border. Eight hundred thousand pages, a crazy tangle beyond anyone’s comprehension.” The unusual thing about this novel, written over the course of fifteen years, is that it incorporated material from other works by the author, from Llamadas telefónicas (Phone Calls) to The Savage Detectives and 2666, with the peculiarity that even though it features some familiar characters, they belong to Bolaño’s larger fictional world, and at the same time they are the exclusive property of this novel. The novel’s remains exuded a strong consciousness of death, of writing as an act of life, which was part of Bolaño’s biography, since the Chilean writer was condemned to write his limitless fiction against the clock.’ — Works in Progress



Nikolay Gogol began writing Dead Souls in 1836 while living in Paris, finishing the first volume in 1841 while on a visit to Rome. After returning to Russia in October, Gogol, with the help of the critic Vissarion Belinsky, printed the first volume in 1842. Belinsky called it a “deeply intellectual, social and historic work.” The work on the second tome of Dead Souls coincided with Gogol’s deep spiritual crisis and mainly reflected his doubt on the effectiveness of literature, putting him on the edge of denouncing his previous creations. In 1849-1850, Gogol read parts of the second volume of Dead Souls to his friends. Their approval and delight encouraged him to work twice as hard. In spring, he made his first and only attempt to create a family. He proposed to Anna Wielhorski, who turned him down. On 1 January 1852 Gogol informed everyone that the second volume was “completely finished.” But at the end of the month, signs of a new personality crisis appeared. He was tormented by a sense of approaching death, worsened by new doubts in his success as a writer. On 7 February Gogol confessed and took communion and on the night of 12 February he burnt the clean manuscript of the second volume of Dead Souls. Only five unfinished chapters remained from various draft editions, which were published in 1855. On the morning of 21 February Gogol died in his apartment in Moscow.’ — Russia Now



Sylvia Plath is known primarily for her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry. However, She also wrote short stories and journals that were later posthumously published in both abridged and unabridged formats, and a novel, The Bell Jar, using the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. It was published under her real name posthumously. However, this is not the only one she wrote. One novel, Falcon Yard, was burned by Sylvia Plath herself. Double Exposure is said to have disappeared in 1970, and her last two journals are said to be missing or destroyed by her husband Ted Hughes. Double Exposure was a novel for which little is known. Like The Bell Jar, it was reportedly going to be semi-autobiographical. Ted Hughes has cited figures of 60 or 70 pages up to as high as 130 pages. Plath’s literary executor, Olwyn Hughes, said only two chapters were completed. The plot was said to revolve around a woman discovering her husband having an affair culminating in the husband’s desertion of his family. Plath said it was a “dark comedy.”‘ — scholarworks

Some others

Gustave Flaubert Bouvard et Pécuchet
René Daumal Mount Analogue
Lew Welch I, Leo
Thomas Mann Confessions of Felix Krull
James Joyce Stephen Hero
Mina Loy Goy Israels
Ralph Ellison Three Days Before the Shooting
Brad Gooch The Silver Age of Death
Dale Peck Red Deer
Frank O’Hara (untitled)
Albert Camus Le premier homme
Herman Melville The Confidence Man
Henry James A Sense of Time
Ingeborg Bachmann The Book of Franza
Georges Perec 53 Days
Jack Kerouac Old Bull in the Bowery
Alain-Fournier Colombe Blanchet
Stendahl Lucien Leuwen
Robert Shea Children of the Earthmaker
James Dickey Crux
Alexander Pushkin The Negro of Peter the Great
Charles Bukowski The Way the Dead Love
Kingsley Amis Black and White
Fyodor Dostoevsky Netochka Nezvanova
Georges Bataille Ma Mere
Joe Orton Head to Toe
Alberto Moravia I due amici
Osamu Dazai Gutto Bai



p.s. Hey. ** James Bennett, Hey, James. I think it’s highly possible to get a lot out of Bangs and Meltzer by just sticking to the prose and the passion/dispassion and making assumptions about the topics. It always amazes me to know that Flaubert wasn’t a critical establishment darling in his day. A hopeful sign. I’ve only been to Cork in Ireland. There was a kind of seminar on my work there that I attended. I don’t know why I haven’t made the effort to get to Ireland otherwise  since it’s so close to where I’ve ended up and in the EU, for goodness sake, so hassle free to enter/exit. Recommendations? Because I really should target it. Hug of considerable warmth back to you. Oh, and Uday asked me to convey his thanks because he doesn’t know to use the reply function. ** Lucas, Hi, Lucas. Thanks, yeah, I’m post-stress today. It was just a thing. I’m happy I got you revved up for the amusement park. Hopefully the hopeful attitude will add some romance to the place when you’re actually there too. I’m on the cusp of digging into the character ai. Hopefully after I get an annoying meeting done this morning. Thank you for the link. I’m not on X, and X is very fascist about not letting non-X people look at anything there, sadly. That’s very interesting about the stronger taboo amongst the currently young driving the ai option. Huh. I wish I understood why those taboos have taken hold of people, but I can’t, or not without further research, which I’ll do. Such a huge difference from the hunger for the wild that was considered cool when I came of age. Zac happily liked what I wrote, so now we can continue building the script, so that’s exciting. I’m really jonesing to get a new film on its way. Making films is strangely addictive. I have some artist friends who work a lot with ai visual generating apps like Midjourney, and it’s the same thing with no sexual content. They try, but when they try to circumvent the rules and get sexy, it just looks very hint-hint 1950s. Gigantically positive vibes are on their way to you. What are you up to, life-wise, at the moment? Oh, jay talked to/about you in their comment if you didn’t see. ** jay, Hi. Big congrats on being post-school for at least a while. Do you have a particular summer in mind? I may actually take you up on your advice offer one of these days. I think people think because I do the blog I have tech savvy, but I’m really just very basic and feeling my way along. Thanks! Have a Thursday of note. ** Jeff J, Howdy, Jeff! I saw on FB that you were back in your hood. How great that you had such an awesome time after all that body rebellion you were going through. Funny you mention Pasolini’s novel given what’s above. No, I haven’t. Making the post made me realise I need to. Did your friend have any tips on where to start? Wow, I did not know that about a new Pinget! Holy shit. Or that Dalkey is actually back alive like they had seemed to be promising. Whoa, I’ll get the Pinget asap, and the Queneau too. Thanks, buddy. The film is finished but for the minor, needed special effects which Zac and I have been waiting to do for months, thwarted by our producers, but we intend to force the issue at a meeting with them this very morning. Otherwise, it’s under consideration at four big festivals. Two are maybe hopeful, two are very unlikely. Sure, Zooming sounds good. Hit me up. ** Black_Acrylic, Cool, thanks, Ben. ‘Fargo’ is my favorite Coens for sure. Lightning in a bottle, that one. ** Huckleberry Shelf, Hey!! You studied with David! That’s awesome. You probably know he and I are very old friends and colleagues, although colleagues is such a boring term. He let you use that Ouija board! He must really like you. That makes sense re: your attitude towards the sun being from SF. I’m from LA, so escaping the sun still feels like a success story. Although I lived in Amsterdam for a couple of years, and Amsterdam is like SF to the nth degree, and that was too non-stop gloomy even for me. Great that you’re writing. And ‘hopefully’, that’s the key. I totally get your interest in your work feeding off the Craigslist source. Your story idea sounds great, of course. I learned how to write prose as a poet, and it actually seemed like a really good way into prose, so keep your hopes and trust your instincts, and you’ll likely come up with something really yours and unique. I actually just read a very positive review of the Cronenberg yesterday. I feel like a lot of people just want him to stay on the body horror track, but most of my favorite films by him are when he diverges from that. My pleasure about the post, of course. I hope your day holds some amazement. ** Tomás, Hi, Tomás! Wow, to fully explain the sculpture influence would take more room and brain power than the p.s. pacing allows. At the simplest, I try to think of my fiction, and fiction I read as well, as being 3-dimensional. That there’s the surface, which does certain things and can have a certain effect, but there’s also a roomy interior where I can try to make things happen that the reader can either notice and follow or which enlarges the reading even if you don’t see the internal machinations. I like to try to write thinking of the prose as something you can sort of walk around and view from difference angles. It helps me get excited about the possibilities. That probably makes no sense. Consolidation problem. And also thinking about positive and negative space, so what’s written and there and solid is no more important than what’s missing. Someday let’s have a coffee and talk about our methodologies. That would be super interesting. What you say about your thinking about your writing makes total sense to me, and maybe is not so difference than my thinking that I just confusedly attempted to describe. I don’t have a daily routine about approaching films. Or about my fiction either. I’m kind of a workaholic. Once I get my head inside a project, I get very fixed on it and driven to finish it. And I try hard not think about the hellish part of getting the funds to actually make the film because that’s so daunting and beyond my control. Thanks very, very much for the links to your work. I’ll go over there(s) today when I finish this and get through a film-related meeting I’m due at shortly. Excited to find your work. Thanks again! ** Harper, Hi. Your name is clean again. ‘Accidental postmodern’, ha ha, nice. That doesn’t surprise me about Pratt. It’s interesting to have a bead on what his stoicism thing is about. Parisians don’t have AC in their homes either. Like you guys, I guess, there was no real need until about five years ago when Paris started cooking in the summer. Ugh. Enjoy your calm. I hope it extends and extends. ** Steve, Troye Sivan is so not otherworldly looking. Well, neither is Chalamet, of course, although hordes would troll me for that statement if hordes read this blog, which happily they don’t. Everyone, Steve has weighed in one Richard Linklater’s new one ‘Hit Man’ right here. A couple of the Cannes films have already opened. Paris holds an annual little festival where most of the Cannes films play for one screening each, so that’s next in a few weeks. ** PL, Hi, good to see you. Dump stories are both inherently interesting and not so much, straight or otherwise, I was interested. That guy in that group you describe does sound like a character I might devise, or at least like a slave on a slave site whose profile I would put in one of those posts. I obviously can stand guys like that and find them interesting. I like the combination of trashiness and pretension. There can be a lot going on there. It’s just a matter of regulating the real life dosage of them, I guess. But, yeah, get out of the group if the cops are eyeing its doorway. Better safe than whatever else. Hm, I can’t think of any great musical finds of recent days. I need to go looking. I’ll check out that Panchiko album, thanks. I’m good. You sound lively. Nice to get to talk with you. ** Justin D, Hi, J. Cool, glad you’re liking his stuff so far. I do remember about your Koi feeding gig, and that’s a strange outcome. The fountain being empty sounds a little odd, no? Alien abduction maybe? I hope the owners don’t blame you. Yikes. I’m an overanalyser too. I think, push comes to shove, that’s preferable than, say, airheadedness, although airheadedness has external beauty at least, unlike the overanalysis-beset. Mostly. Sometimes. ** Jamie F, Greetings, Jamie. Cool, happy Scott’s stuff intrigues. I am confident, I think, but much less so in crowds, or disorganised ones at least. I’ve figured out how to deal with, say, doing readings or events when my work is ‘on show’ because I can just becomes its spokesperson, and I’ve learned how to do that. But generally I’m not so good at adopting a kind of superfice of personality to negotiate groups of folks. Or something. I don’t know. No, Zac isn’t my boyfriend. We’re very close, and we’re kind of soul mates, but it’s not romantic or sexual at all. Bon day. ** Darby🐼, There was a parrot in a box. My roommate found it injured in a park, brought it here, washed it, put it in a box, and it eventually felt better, started freaking out, and yesterday it was successfully released into the park. Happy ending. Google wouldn’t let me see the photo. It says I don’t have access. So, … I’ll daydream. In purple. Fucking google, I swear. I hope your classes are enriching and that your screen does not irritate. ** Nicholas, Hey there. Uh, last night I had very delicious vegan sushi at this new vegan sushi restaurant I found. And today … my food intake is still a crapshoot. Nothing fancy for sure. Your intake sounds enviable. Yes. ** Uday, Hi. I actually swore off using one word titles after the Cycle, and I’m kind of shocked that I agreed with myself to use one again. But it fits. I think the editor of TPR at that time was kind of a perv, and he got me-tooed and fired later, so there you go. Oh, yeah, everybody has their own powers from their art or skills or beauty or age or whatever, and individualist hierarchies are natural in that case, I guess as long as the bearer doesn’t work the hierarchy. Hierarchies are something I’ll be negotiating forever. They’re inescapable. And I conveyed your thanks to James. ** Oscar 🌀, I’m imagining us on adjacent mountaintops with our hands cupped around our mouths. ‘Whump’: what a nice category or at least word. Underused, that word. I’m going to start using it. Listen, I’m so happy my early writings were pre-internet and are just yellowed papers that are evermore yellowing and increasingly unreadable. ‘Naïve. Super.’: I’m going to try to locate that. In the meantime, I will pick up one of the zillion of books in my to-read pile and hope it’s keeper as you wish, thank you. I hope someone with very baggy jeans crosses your path today and asks you to autograph their skateboard. ** Okay. Sorry this is so late today. A meeting interrupted me. A few of the examples up above in the post are rather well known already, but what the hell, right? See you tomorrow.


  1. Minks

    In Youth is Pleasure by Delton Welch ,was lately translated to Hebrew.
    It was a shock to my system, feeling as I’d spring has flourished inside me.
    I couldn’t ask for a more hedonistic party of senses.

    • Corey Heiferman

      You read Hebrew? Ever make it to Tel Aviv?

  2. jay

    i probably won’t do much over the summer, probably mostly just doing some 9-5 work for money.

    interesting to see osamu dazai on this list, I’ve always slight wondered if you were a fan of his writing – i vaguely recall there being a side character in Try called osamu, and i remember wondering if you did that on purpose.

    no worries if you do need help with the artificial intelligence stuff, it’d be practice for me!

  3. Lucas

    hey dennis, 

    I loved this post. I’m glad you’re post-stress today! and I’m hoping your annoying meeting will be over soon. 

    I also wish I fully understood why things are so much more uptight now. there’s an endless stream of theories why, but the one that feels most true to me is that it’s the result of the internet having fewer dedicated spaces now than it did 10, 15 years ago. almost everyone is on twitter/instagram/reddit/tumblr now, and usually only those websites. that leads to people who would’ve been only on kink forums and kids who would’ve been on penguin club both using the same websites, running into each other and having a little culture clash. and even a few years ago, you could mostly stay in your own online bubble, but everyone’s adopting TikTok’s “for you” mechanism which pretty much just slaps you in the face with whatever content the website thinks you might engage with, and so it prioritizes content that would make you upset, so you yell at that user, and it becomes a vicious cycle. it’s also kind of an in group/out group thing: there’s tons of signifiers for being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ supposedly ‘problematic’ fiction, ships, etc. and it becomes a weird semi-community based on what people you hate. I unfortunately have a lot of experience with this discourse so I could go on about it but it’s pretty bleak and I’m not sure if it’d be interesting to you.

    the gigantically positive vibes are appreciated and sent right back to you, and zac and the new film. all I have going on right now is my math final tomorrow which I’m hopelessly underprepared for. I’ll squeeze in a little bit of studying later, but I’ve been suffering from so much brain fog that I’m leaving most of it up to god, or really, the people designing the exam. I’m hoping they make it really easy this time. again, re: brain fog, the amusement park visit is in two weeks, apparently, but I’ll have this vaguely filmmaking-related workshop next week instead. I’m not expecting much, but I’m hoping it’s at least mildly informative and entertaining. oh, and I’ve started reading our lady of the flowers, which is really good and very much my thing, unsurprisingly. I just saw jay’s comment and I’ll be checking out that short story when I have time

  4. Charalampos

    Nice post. It would be interesting to work with unfinished ideas how something unfinished so to say completes itself while hovering there, is so beautiful Very freeing
    This post today made me crave for the day I hit the streets, pen and paper in hand. I open a thread from now to the day I take the bus to the airport
    Maybe it’s good idea to start all these unrealised novels even if l get like only two paragraphs in? Told you before but when l was young l started writing and few sentences in l threw major fit and tore the paper with rage. Mainly because l was deeply embarrassed I wrote with many different handwritings
    I have this drawing in the book that says ”Open pockets in time and then create so you have many eras so you have many eras” I see it as witchy saying so you can create millions of stuff.
    The idea of the next one popping in that way and not be something grand like grand statement makes me feel good and nervous too for creation
    Nice words about writing l will read again and take in, you make me inspired to write way more
    When you said you dislike the word ”best” I truly felt that, l do some tricks when I write that I write words two times so the power game diminishes and becomes playful and you can do it with the word best best. Hope it does not sound chaotic
    I wonder how many songs did Lana Del Rey lost in the robbery because some months after she released her epic album Ocean blvd. Her album Norman fucking Rockwell helped me in 2019 doing some first drawings with girl figures. She has also zillions of unreleased material. She must write all day long
    l have to look what the new Pinget is. l still want to get Fable but it’s not the easiest book to find But I want to read

    Love best vibes from Crete

  5. _Black_Acrylic

    One person not mentioned here is Kafka, whose writing career was punctuated by unfinished stories. I mention his work because we’ll be studying some of that in my writing class, which returns again next week and I’m looking forward to it a great deal. Will defo be good to get back into the habit.

  6. Jack Skelley

    Dennis of Paris: Last night at Zebulon here I saw Robin Hitchcock do a special show: He performed all Syd Barrett songs. It was kind of like a wish-fulfillment dream. See you soooonn. xo Jack

  7. Tosh Berman

    Today’s blog is fantastic. Right now I’m working on a book, and it’s in its ‘taking notes’ stage. The late afternoon, I wrote a scene, and it made me very happy. Will today be another ‘happy’ day? That and this is all part of the adventure. I love writing. I love the process, and nothing beats coming up with something that is greatly possible, being… existing!

  8. Cletus Crow

    God. That’s a shame about Lana Del Rey’s novel. I enjoyed her poetry. She also does some great photography.

  9. Tomás

    Hey Dennis!

    I know explaining it is very weird but I totally get what your saying. It’s very interesting to see writing as a 3 dimensional thing and I can’t help but think about this in films. Last Year at Marienbad comes to mind. So much layers of surfaces and space in that film. Also thinking about positive and negative space makes me think of Michael Haneke’s approach to films. Very minimal and precise. So yes, count me in for that potential coffee someday, would be fun to chat about our methodologies.

    Speaking of three dimensional space, I wanted to suggest a blog post for the future. I don’t know if this has been posted before but the work of experimental architect Lebbeus Woods is something that I find very interesting!

    Hope your Thursday is going great and good luck on the meeting!

  10. Sypha

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see George R.R. Martin’s THE WINDS OF WINTER on such a list at some point… supposedly he’s been working on it for 13 years, with no end in sight.

    I have quite a few unfinished/aborted novels myself. One of the most famous ones is the Warhol novel, which I first tried to make happen around 2007, then again around 2011 or 2012… but I’ve pretty much given up on that one. There was a crime novel I started around 2019 that only lasted around 25 pages (one chapter of which ended up in PLEASANT TALES III)… a novel set in the 90s revolving around a computer game company (it had a killer soundtrack). Then there’s the Christmas novel, which I still want to do, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

    It’s funny, though, since I completed the first draft of HARLEM SMOKE in Jan. 2016 I have not finished a novel since. So it’s getting close to the 10 year anniversary date of that and I’m getting a bit worried that I might never do a novel again! But I’ve been distracted with the 3rd and 4th short story collections: maybe if I could just get those out it would clear my head and I could get back into the novel zone.

  11. Don Waters

    Oh, boy, great post. This list could go on forever, eh? How many ‘unfinished’ novels do we all have…? Plenty, for me, at least. At a reading, once, I read aloud the opening paragraphs from 10 unfinished novels, and it was quite a laugh. How many do you have? That’s the reason I turned to short stories for a while: to complete something. Well, that and a day job. Writing a novel is hard with a day job. Kind of, actually, impossible. Just writing now to say ‘hi.’ After reading ‘I Wished,’ I finally finished ‘The Sluts,’ and loved it, and I think it’s now official. I’ve read all of your books, dude. I’m writing this new ‘thing’ (a novel) and couldn’t have done it without re-reading and reading…you. So, thanks. I have some Qs for you, which I’ll ask at some future point, since you’re such a great novel tinkerer, and I’m hoping you could help me. Which brings me to: what do I read now? Any suggestions? I’m really into bite-sized, short novels right now. Something outside same-old American lit. So bored of it! Re-read ‘Jack the Modernist,’ read ‘The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick,’ just began Iris Owens’ ‘After Claude.’ I’m positive you can suggest a short novel by a European author I’ve never heard of… any ideas? Hope you’re doing great. Take care.

  12. Harper

    Hey Dennis! Aaah, Denton Welch, one of my Gods. I have a print of one of his self portraits hung on my wall, and it’s the first thing I see when I look up from bed in the morning. The portrait has a very strange expression which changes depending on my mood, or perhaps his mood. I’ve read basically everything by him except his letters ( published as ‘Good night, beloved comrade’) and his poetry which is supposed to be hit or miss. I went on a mission a while back to acquire everything by him that I could get my hands on and I’ve almost done it, though I doubt I’ll ever own the poetry. His stories are really good if you’ve ever read them. ‘A Voice Through a Cloud’ is as well, of course.

    Jane Bowles as well, she would also be in my top five all time favourite writer list but I don’t have a definite set of names in my head. I didn’t know about this unfinished novel. From what I’ve read, a lot of her short stories were attempts for novels that she gave up on.

    I finally got a job interview at a hipsterish faux speak easy bar. In the past, every time I’ve got a job opportunity like this ‘I was looking for a job and then I found a job, and heaven knows I’m miserable now’ plays in my head. But I already feel a weight lifting.

    Can’t think of any other unfinished novels. Petronius’ ‘Satyricon’ only has a fragment remaining from a giant book, but I guess that doesn’t count. The Socialite Stephen Tennant spent his life trying to write a book about French sailors, I think that counts.

  13. James Bennett

    Hey Dennis,
    Hmm Ireland.. it depends what you like to do when visiting a new place. You could do a sort of literary pilgrimage in Dublin. Walk around parts of the city and its beaches that have a relation to Joyce and Beckett. Dublin can be nice city to walk, sit in cafes, browse bookshops, but a few days is plenty. I don’t really like going back these days because high rents and property speculation have driven a lot of the good stuff/people out. It feels less alive than it used to.
    Otherwise, rural Ireland has its bucolic charm. Very lush and green. Great beaches. And lots of really interesting history, as Ireland was an important flashpoint of anticolonial struggle in the 20th century.
    In short I think I’m saying: Ireland is probably good for a quiet, relaxing, ruminating holiday.
    Have you ever read Flann O Brien?
    All my best, James

  14. A

    Hey DC – sorry, had a random violent family tragedy happen, isn’t that so fun? i wrote a piece for hobart about the cynicism in the indie literature world and how i packaged myself with a deliberately irksome persona to try to make a commentary/hold up a mirror to the worst aspects of our culture, sarcastically embodying these qualities of being a ‘villain’ since there was just no way i was going to step into those spaces as a new guy without being eaten alive, so i might as well have premeditated the backlash or baited for it. you know the whole eminem, ‘i am whatever you say i am, so if i w asn’t then why would i say i am’ thing. people have all these misconceptions about me, so i thought i’d play with them and use them for artistic devices. the indie world encourages online-performance due to pressure for ‘brand building’, and i thought: why not i FUCK with the matrix and streetcast a cute writer twink from the club (the twink is talented at prose) and have him shill my book online on twitter all summer? for some reason it pissed so many people off, but i’ll always go down in history as the creator of ‘the twink publicist’ archetype. funny enough, the piece about ‘the backlash’ created more publicity. it’s just a carousel of ridiculousness and absurdism. how are things going with you? i enjoyed reading your interview in the whitney review. did you ever read Nick Mcdonell ‘Twelve’ ? pretty sure i’m going through the same backlash he did in the 2000s. have you read parasocialite by brittany menjivar yet? do you know the dates you’ll be in LA yet? sending love.

  15. Steve

    How many of these books have been published in some form?

    Hordes of Timmy stans are massing on Twitter to take revenge for your grave insult!

    A friend is in town from Europe. We were originally planning to meet up today, but I haven’t heard from him in several days. I wonder what happened.

    Did you ever start FUCCBOI? It’s OK, doing a good job of taking you inside the consciousness of a man who sounds like a very average man in his 20s with ambitions of being a novelist. (His dissection of the subversiveness of Lil B’s “Suck My Dick Ho” is the high point.) I don’t really understand why it generated either breathless hype or “this is the worst shit ever” reviews in 2022, apart from the allegations that Conroe copied his style from another author.

  16. David Breithaupt

    Shirley Jackson left a half-finished novel, Come Along With Me, which is wonderful, even uncompleted.

  17. Dot Toevsky

    Nice piece Dennis it reminded me of being in Crouch End/North London back in the day reading through one of your earthy novels in the dead of night in my youth…. cracking one off… to the tune of a death murder kill scenario and although there was a definite end…. I alas did not manage to get there…. until a month or so later…

    + Although initially I was thinking this was about dead writers/authors only for some reason… or other.. on flicking through and spotting Dale Peck’s name I got rather excited… alas on checking google I was enormously disappointed to see he is still very much alive…. unfinished…

    Sylvia Plath is my favourite here… I can’t stand it when certain female authors/poets think they are like her…. yet they still breathe…. die and you might have something in common….

    Cheers Den

    ‘Thank you for being a friend.
    Travel down the road and back again.
    Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant’

    Dot Toevsky

  18. Jeff J

    Hey Dennis – Unfinished novels always strike me as sad, though I’m sure some were better in the realm of fantasy than reality. A compelling post, so thanks.

    Passolini’s novels — funny to see his book listed today. My friend recommended the two works that NYRB recently retranslated – Theorem and especially Boys Alive. That last one apparently has scenes and characters which continually drift into new scenarios and new characters, generating story while avoiding the grinding gears of plot. Sounded interesting. Theorem shares a story with his film, but it’s told in a bunch of different formats including a fair amount of notes and poetry.

    How did the meeting with the producer go in terms of the special effects?

    I watched I SAW THE TV GLOW yesterday. Have you seen it yet? Interested to hear your take. Mine: Cool premise and ideas about media, nice visuals and it starts out well. But there’s little chemistry between the main actors and the story builds to a preachy allegorical ending. Wanted to like it more than I did.

    I’ll email you later today about setting up a Zoom time next week.

  19. Jamie F

    Hi Dennis,

    Great list. I actually didn’t know a lot of these because I don’t come from what you might call a literary background. I was surprised about Lana Del Rey, I never would have guessed she’d written a novel, how sad it was stolen! I do like her Born to Die and NFR albums.

    I’m ashamed to say I went through a period when I was young of being into artists who’d committed suicide, so I’ve read a fair amount of David Foster Wallace. I’ve read Oblivion, his short story collection (which is very good), half of Infinite Jest (has anyone ever finished IJ!?) and parts of The Pale King. I know David Foster Wallace gets mocked as a sort of hipster-bro author for American kids who want to seem smart but, I do think he was talented — he genuinely did try to usher the novel into the 21stC and show us what a word processor could do as opposed to a typewriter — and it is a shame we lost him so soon.

    I totally understand what you mean about not having the personality for being in crowds, haha, I’ve since developed some mature techniques for being more amiable but that doesn’t exactly lessen the stress.

    I’m so glad you have someone who is like a soul mate! I once had a similar relationship when I was at university. I was close with a guy on my course and over a couple of years we became like best friends haha. We were on the same page, creatively, and really pushed each other to be better in our craft and as people. We really enriched each others lives, but our relationship wasn’t romantic or sexual in any way, which was a good thing because we could be honest with each other and feelings didn’t get in the way. Unfortunately, he had mental health issues — I do too, but — it meant when he discovered drugs, he couldn’t just do them recreationally and he ended up becoming addicted. He eventually dropped out of the course and had to move back home, which was very sad. We still talk sometimes but it’s not the same as it was. Anyway.

    Bon day to you Monsieur! It is sunny and bright here in Sydney. I hope you experience the famous ‘Paris in the Springtime’ of days.

    Jamie F

  20. Justin D

    Hey, Dennis. An alien invasion is a scenario that didn’t cross my mind, but I like it! No, my parents won’t care much. They’ll just replace the fish with more. They always felt more like decoration(s) than pets. Unfinished art of any kind is a sad concept. Da Vinci thought that all art was never finished, only abandoned. I suppose there’s some truth to that, but I also like to think that an artist has an intrinsic ability to know when they’ve done all that they can, or set out to do with their work.

    • Justin D

      I’m shocked to read you don’t have a Twitter (I refuse to call it ‘X’) account (even just a looky-loo account, like mine). There’s a wealth of very niche porn on it!

      After listening to BEE’s latest podcast, I was thinking it would be so great if you and Zac would go on to discuss ‘RT’ (when the time is right/if it worked out/you guys are in L.A.). I know you’ve been a guest in the past, but it would be so cool to hear the both of you discussing the film and other things that interest Bret.

  21. PL

    Hi, Dennis. Yeah, one of the slaves, totally. It’s good that you can stand guys like that, then we can appreciate your amazing work. I find them interesting too, but, you know, maybe far away from me. I always feel like they’ll get me in trouble or something. Recently, I watched an anime series that’s pretty nice, ‘Pet Shop of Horrors’, maybe you’d like it, it’s fun. And I watched my first Jonas Mekas, ‘Song of Avignon’, what are your thoughts on him? I watched it just to impress some guy but I thought it was good. Nice to get to talk with you too!

  22. Huckleberry Shelf


    Sad post today. So many of these sound so great. Especially the Pasolini, would love to read that. Saw you talking with someone else the other day about his novels, I need to read them, especially Teorema. That’s my favorite movie of his, so interesting to think about what the novel might look like.

    Besides Crimes of the Future I agree with you about Cronenberg’s best work leaving the body horror behind. I’ve heard the new one is very talky, which I also like from him, he writes weird stiff dialogue in a way I love. Crimes of the Future might also not be body horror now that I think of it. It definitely has all of the freaky body stuff but it never really tries to be scary. Which is probably part of why I like it so much.

    Thanks for the encouragement on the story. There’s definitely something freeing about it. Certain ideas that I’ve always tried to fit into poems fit so naturally into prose. Which seems almost mystical; I can’t tell why they would work better in one than the other, they just do. Like you said, I’ve gotta trust my instincts. And yeah, it was amazing studying with David, he’s a good teacher. And I knew you and David were old friends because you come up a few times in his writing, which is always fun. Reading him is sometimes like reading a gossip magazine, in a great way.

    Showed my friend Manhunter tonight, which is one of those movies I could just watch over and over again. If only for the Shriekback songs on the soundtrack. What do you think of Michael Mann? I imagine you’ve seen Manhunter–if not I highly reccomend.

    Best, Huckleberry

  23. Uday

    Yeesh on that editor. Always nice seeing Denton Welch anywhere! A nice palate cleanser. I resent comparison (I went to the same school as my dutiful older sister) but if I ever reached a stage where somebody compared my writing to his, even if unfavourably, that would be the ultimate compliment. It’s nice to see the one word titles back for your books. Even if I really liked the bare evocation of I Wished.
    Re unfinished novelists: one of my most prized possessions is what I believe to be a first edition print of The Weir of Hermiston, spotted by me in 2018(?) in the back of a “books by the kilo” cardboard box and purchased for a matter of cents. It’s better than the rest of Stevenson’s work in my approximation.
    It’s going to be very busy soon so I might disappear for a bit but I will try my very best to carve out the half-hour or so to read and re-read the post, digest it and comment. If not, I hope you have a good however many days till I am back (probably Monday).

  24. Oscar 🌀

    That’s the visual I was going for. Maybe a few inquisitive mountain goats nearby? I have a really quiet voice, so maybe a megaphone for me as well. Can you yodel through a megaphone? Or maybe just a cone of some kind.

    RE: pre-internet — yeah, 100%. Sometimes I think about things I probably said (and subsequently forgot about) as par for the course of being a 14 year old boy way back when and shiver. Blessing and a curse I guess. And, speaking of the internet, did you end up having a wee poke around Character.AI?

    Also I think an unfinished Gabriel García Márquez novel was literally just published posthumously? Don’t know how I feel about reading that.

    No autographable skateboards, sadly. I did get shouted at by a cyclist, though, so I guess that’s in a similar ballpark. I hope that if you’re visiting a store or cafe or some other such thing today that the person behind the counter isn’t just being polite but is actually interested in the conversation with you!

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