Logorrheaweb:Logorrheaweb introduction (Neal Stephenson)
From the Quicksilver Metaweb.
Superficially, this site is an endless collection of information for an interminable book that I wrote entitled QUICKSILVER. There's another one on the way called THE CONFUSION. Rest assured, it will be available in at least six expensive versions and it will be so heavy that you will be unable to balance it on the subway. As time goes on, we hope that this site will develop into something that will be impossible for you to manage, something in which you will try to find the meaning that I couldn't quite deliver. Frankly, I'm smarter than you and you will never amount to anything. We don't know how it will come out. It's an experiment, like any good PR effort.
Why put the information on such a complicated system, when a simple FAQ is easier? Because frankly we're hoping that you can give my rambling mess of a novel with some illusory stature. I'm a misunderstood genius. I don't need an editor. My books are as good as GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, INFINITE JEST and THE RECOGNITIONS, dammit. And you're going to like it. We are hoping that the annotations of the book on this site will seed a body of knowledge so useless and arcane so as to give my novel meaning that doesn't exist. The idea of the Logorrheaweb was originated by Edward Champion
My own view, which I think we can both agree is more important than yours, of the Logorrheaweb is pretty straightforward: I don't think that the Internet, as it currently exists, does a very good job of explaining things to people. The only person who can explain things to people and who indeed should be encouraged to explain things to people is, of course, me. I am Neal Stephenson, and you are not. It seems as though a lot of people like to explain things on the Internet, and some of them are quite good at it. But whereas most people actually stop explaining at some point, I do not. You will find me somewhere on the western edge of North America locked in a cabin, and I will not stop writing.
We have been looking for a way to solve this problem for a long time, and it occurred to us that on the Internet, there was no end to the pages I could write. Furthermore, the lackeys and fanboys who hassle me, despite the fact that all of my time is well accounted for, has reached an unmanagable level. Some of them do not have lives, and have been looking for something to do. Of course, I have given them QUICKSILVER, an intricate novel that they will read and reread, discuss and rediscuss. But this, apparently, is not enough. So what better way than to get me writing and them writing and give everybody here more information than they could possibly chew on? For example, Carl Weathers does not appear as a character in QUICKSILVER, but that has not stopped us from offering a biographical page on him. Such an explanation need not refer to QUICKSILVER in any way, and so it could be useful to, say, a high school student who doesn't want to sit through another Geocities page but who needs to know why Carl Weathers is important.
What it boils down to is this: if you have come here hoping to get an explanation of something that puzzles you about QUICKSILVER, then this site should confuse you more. In fact, I would highly encourage you to buy another copy of my book.
Along the way, as you browse the site, you may stumble over a lot of information that seems to have nothing to do with the novel. Boy, how wrong you are! While the novel put several editors to sleep, this does not suggest that it had nothing to do with the deeper recesses of my mind. Oh, sure, you can ignore it. But how do you really know what my intention was? How do you know there isn't a secret message for you to unfurl?
That's part of the allure of being a bestselling novelist. But I don't expect any of you to understand. Just buy my book and dissect it. It will put hair on your chest.