Thursday, November 19, 2009


I have always been frustrated by non-endings in literary fiction stories. They are such a convention in lit journals (and a few collections that I'm read for school). Maybe MFA programs teach their students to do them? This would explain why it occurs so often.

I feel so unsatisfied by these things whenever I read them. They come out of nowhere and it's like a punch to the gut. What is slight becomes dramatic. The author tries to force into finding meaning in the meaningless. What I feel is lazy writing is supposed to sound profound.

A reader develops an emotional detachment to a novel. The reader must be satisfied or the book will be considered a failure. All the time spent reading will be considered a waste of time. So an author must put in a lot of effort into creating their ending. But with a story, endings aren't as important. And considering the state of literary short fiction, I assume most readers don't care about the ending. They only care about what has come before it. So they give the writers permission to be lazy and write lackluster endings.

Have realized that I hate reading stories online but enjoy novels. It's more difficult for me to get into a piece of writing when it's on a computer monitor, but once that happens, it's smooth sailing from there. With stories, I'm usually unable to get into them before the story ends. I think Noah Cicero is probably my favorite writer to read online.

Once I went half deaf after trying to wax my ear out my a tube of ear wax removal stuff that I bought in the grocery store. My hearing isn't the greatest, so I wanted to see if it would improve it. And then I had swimmer's ear for a couple of days until it got so annoying that I went to the doctor and they flushed out my ear and it was wonderful. So I didn't have anything to read for those couple of days and felt too crappy to leave the house, so I bought a few ebooks from Raw Dog Screaming Press. I think they were all short story collections. Two books by Harold Jaffe, which were easy to get into because of his clear writing style. And one book by Darren Speegle, which I really should have been reading in print. His style was way too rich and baroque to be read on a computer screen. And years before this, I bought a couple of ebooks by Carlton Mellick III books and one by Kevin Donihe because they were cheaper than the physical books and was not sure they would be good. That's my origin as far as getting into bizarro fiction.

Right now I'm at my job in my college's computer lab. Part of my job seems to be spelling the word "boredom" for a woman and telling her what the glass is called at the front of a car: "windshield."

Also, five bizarro books are now available for download as free PDFs until Thanksgiving: Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Super Fetus, Sausagey Santa, and both volumes of The Bizarro Starter Kit. I have a novella that appears in the "blue" edition. It is called Cheesequake Smash-up. It concerns a city-wide demolition derby between levitating buildings. Winner gets total supremacy over the fast food industry.

Carlton Mellick III wrote Sausagey Santa and it's a really good time. A light read so it's friendlier on-screen reading. The two Starter Kits also have a lot of good stuff, although each page consists of two columns of text, so the reading isn't as friendly. Here is the link:


Matt DeBenedictis said...

I'm mixed on how stories end. I think it depends on how the story is on how it should end. I just don't like the hab drab just end with no feeling like the story just ended because the writer wanted to move on.

Jason Gusmann said...

thanks for the link! i've got both the collections but looking forward to sausagey santa -