While walking along Valencia St. a few nights ago, I came across a crumpled piece of paper on the sidewalk. I didn’t have any reading material on me, and, seeing that the paper was heavy bond stock, I somehow knew that this wasn’t your standard stray bit of trash. I unfolded the paper and began reading a story entitled “The Unforbidden is Compulsory, Forgotten and Altogether Tied Up in Importance Or, I Am Christ in the Literary Community.” Several paragraphs into the story, I detected a style that was familiar, recognizable in its aggravating repetitions and endless paragraphs. I couldn’t immediately place it. But, yesterday, when Salon posted the first installment of a political “satire” authored by Dave Eggers, I realized what I had in my hands.
I thought I’d post the pages I found here so that future scholars can appraise one of our finest authors. It should be noted that the partial manuscript was laser printed, and it included several handwritten remarks, which I have bolded and bracketed.
Fuckers!Bastards!” said Dimitri[No, too Strangelove.] Sergei.
“What do you mean by that?” asked [Character Named After Adam Sandler Movie].
[Beef up dialogue — that is, if you can come up with anything. Jesus, can’t believe Talbot’s asking me to write political satire. Mine from Didion.]
They could do anything,
everything and everything, everything and nothing. In a race like this, that, and everything in between, this race, this ongoing battle which you must understand, which you must feel between your toes and your fingers and your nostrils, you see, because it pulsates like many other races, an important race, a pivotal race, a race that destroys careers, there was no oversight. [Do I really understand politics? Pollack’s better at this. Well, who cares? Go with it, workhorse.] There was no feeling of outrage, no general sense that people were willing to screw each other, which was strange because most political races are corrupt in an easily understood way. And thank [insert Judeo-Chistian reference here for kids] for that. Sergei [good, keep name, funny] and [Should I go with Happy Gilmore or Little Nicky?], manager and head of special products for the Stuart Craspenmonstrodacousticolostomy campaign [Consider shortening funny name. Name should be long but not too long. Vendela tells me that Americans don’t elect people with long names, but she really doesn’t understand humor. Add to shopping list: buy shampoo for VV.], wouldn’t want any oversight or general sense of the limits of taste and smell. It was important that Craspenmonstrodacousticolostomy smell nice, that every voter who shook his hand knew that he smelled nice when they shook his hand. This was a filthy contest already, and most of the other candidates did not smell nice, even when they were shaking hands, and most of the filth was theirs but it could sometimes be picked up from other people and other candidates and other filthmongers [Chabon has stopped taking showers this week. Research for his new book. But will he see himself in this piece? Must not offend him or anyone else important. Consider revising.] and today would be no different, for today, this day, different from yesterday, but also a holiday — the Fourth of July, Independence Day, the time when they tossed out the firecrackers and threw burgers on a barbeque designed for barbecuing burgers, big burgers, the day the nation had been founded forgotten, bereft of its origins [Getting too political there, padre. Must keep it goofy and about nothing too important.] — was a day too crucial for cleansing, showering, basting, and perhaps ignoring deodorant. Today, at the Independence Day Walk Long and Tall and Arts Fair [Does this fly? Again, keep names goofy but vaguely discernible.], the Craspenmonstrodacousticolostomy campaign had to achieve nothing less than Total Absolute Ultimate Visual Dominance [Heidi hates this, says I should cut down. Maybe I can get one of those 826 V volunteers to salivate over this and come up with something.]. If, through the relentless creation and placement of Craspenmonstrodacousticolostomy balloons [Now I know the name’s bad. Consider shortening], posters, buttons, flyers, pom-poms, kites, banners, [Keep calling ANSWER and Greenpeace and find out what they use. If not, resort to high school rally memories.] and giant, tremendous Styrofoam hands [Keep this. Not sure why, but keep.], they could achieve ___________________ [Rework TAUVD concept.]
[Motherfucker. That scruffy intern didn’t get me my latte in two minutes. Note to self: Breathe, lots of soy and yoga, exercise in Marin, non-negative thinking, no snark. These masses cannot help themselves. They’ll join the ULA and bitch, but I’ll be the Pulitzer finalist. Reminder: add more names to my list.]
[Maybe start again from scratch.]
At this point, the writing becomes illegible. There is one additional comment at the bottom of the page, but it resembles more of a jagged line that trails up the right margin and forms into a crude picture of a penis at the top of a page.
I have no idea what any of this means, but perhaps some of you scholars who know Eggers’ work better than I do can offer a proper assessment.