On 16 January 2014, a writer boy named Paul Auster conversed with someone named Dr. Isaac Gewirtz (this boy likely had friends & relations who were a part of the Holocaust) at the Morgan Library (which seems quite splendid, though it may not be if Mayor Bloomberg was able to blow his matzoh-ball-soup breath on it).
According to girl writer & Huffington Post blogger Anne Margaret Daniel, Paul put forth the category of a “boy writer,” which means:
someone who is so excited, takes such a sense of glee and delight in being clever, in puzzles, in games, in… and you can feel these boys cackling in their rooms when they write a good sentence, just enjoying the whole adventure of it. And the boy writers are the ones you read, and you understand why you love literature so much.
I concur with Paul — because of “boy writers,” literature is the best thing ever (except Christianity).
Arthur Rimbaud is a boy writer, which is why he stabbed people at poetry readings and yelled “shit” after the insipid readers declaimed their dull verse.
Edgar Allan Poe, as Paul points out, is a boy writer, as he composed stories on murder and poems on special girls, like the “beautiful Annabel Lee.”
There’s not a lot of boy writers who are un-dead. Most, nowadays, correspond to what Paul terms a “grown-up writer.” Stephen Burt, Carl Phillips, Dobby Gibson, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Bob Hicok are examples of a “grown-up writer.” They don’t spotlight the “puzzles” and the “games” of the violence, theatricality, exploitation, and upsetness in the postlapsarian world. They document liberal middle class averageness. “It’s about settling down and settling in,” says Burt.
But some boy writers are un-dead.
Johannes Goransson likes makeup and violence. “mascara is infected / belongs to assaults,” the Action Books editor and boy writer elucidates in Pilot (Johann the Carousel Horse).
HTML Giant’s own Blake Butler is a boy writer. In Sky Saw, his characters aren’t given names but numbers (just like in the Holocaust and in the War on Terror). Reading his books are sort of close to witnessing a disembowelment.
Paul Legault (because he likes Emily Dickinson like someone would like an American Girl doll), Walter Mackey (because he likes Barbie), and Julian Brolaski (because his language reads like sticky, sweet, chewy watermelon bubblegum), are all un-dead boy writers.
But the best boy writers (maybe ever) are dead, and they’re Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Glee? Delight? Cackling in their rooms? Enjoying the whole adventure? All the attribute’s of Paul’s boy writer align with Eric and Dylan. They kept journals, websites, and videos so everyone in the whole wide world could be cognizant of the glee-enjoying-cackling-delight-adventure that they had in planning their massacre. As Eric stated, “I could convince them that I’m going to climb Mount Everest, or that I have a twin brother growing out of my back. I can make you believe anything.”
(In the end-of-an-era spirit of looking back)
1. I go back to Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison’s apocalyptic/environmental art-photography often. The Architect’s Brother pretty much inspired all of the poetry I wrote in my early twenties. In book form, there’s an essay by W.S. Merwin called “Unchopping a Tree.” It begins:
Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nests that have been shaken, ripped, or broken off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places.