Hoe Fiction Works

Posted by @ 10:28 pm on May 20th, 2011


The house of fiction has many windows, but only two or three doors. As for the door to the laundry room, only my wife knows that one. But enough about white male jokes. I quickly got lost in my Barthian funhouse and called my editor, who told me to say Flaubert every other page. The hoes of friction, besides a pun, implicates literature’s true calling, to quench the muse of hoes, those handjob sirens motioning like a rap video, if such videos where directed by Renoir.


Perhaps it all started with those eponymous hoes — Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Nabokov’s Lolita, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina — whose sexually manic/emotionally depressive wet snatched Hoelistic Trinity my fervent hands tended to, turning the pages quietly with grave responsibility in my reading nook, or with more volition (still talking about my hands here) in desperate times of the latter hours. Did I mention my wife snores? The heart may be a lonely hunter, but it never hunts in one’s own bed.


Flaubert can drive together his time signatures because French verb forms allow him to use the imperfect past tense to convey discrete occurrences, which is another way of saying you don’t want to have a beer with me at a bar. But if you need to pick out throw pillows at Bed Bath & Beyonder, I’m your man (figuratively). Speaking of the “imperfect paste,” I should mention those lonely days at Cambridge, under a quilt that I incessantly peed on (see forthcoming Quilt Guilt Issues, Picador, 2012) reading Don Quixote while looking at the ceiling fan, my personal windmill delusion, for what I really wanted was some Joycian cunt stank without the blindness, because duh, hairy is as hairy does, and an unseen jungle is like reading Upton Sinclair in braille. I’m dropping so many names gravity owes me a royalty check.


Long story short, how fiction works is you need hoes — I’m talking that Rothian smart vegan grad student with nowhere to eat for Thanksgiving and a tattoo few have seen so they rent a car and drive to Montreal for a last tango in Canadian Paris and professor dry-bleached-raisin emeritus is facing mortality and consumed by having not tapped enough snatch, then throw in something about a bureaucratic faculty meeting and dying orchid somewhere in a Philly or Bostonian brownstone townhouse and let’s make another 140 page wide-margin “novel” with 12 pt. font and a marketing campaign more aggressive and just as cheesy as velveeta. The figure is essentially a stand in for the author, and if that figure just happens to be adorned with a spiked “anti-combover,” you know the photographer got fired.


I’ve read War and Peace. I wear fleece indoors. I was senior editor at The New Republic. I teach at Harvard, where the bricks are red and its residents well read. I spent 1,300 euros on Gertrude Stein’s beard clippings just to make a point about the death of the novel. The novelist shows you life as it is, but she is a disorganized maniac. I said “she” because that’s what the essays you read in grad school do, put an “s” in front of “he” to make everything better, because it’s really that simple, semantic guilt. I don’t sound like James Wood right now but rather the choadbonics of htmlgiant, and if you say the word “meta” ima gonna hide in the laundry room because fabric softener is how the world ought to smell — the sunday afternoon after saturday’s snatch god damn where is Henry Miller when you need him — if my wife, who folded her cards and my boxers long ago, can point me, in a non magical realist way, to where it even is.

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