—–He said the next person who tells him he is “ahead of his time” is going to get a smack in the face. Apparently people have been telling him this, or a variation of this, for decades; so now he says he has had it–but, in all probability, he has been reacting this same way, or in a variation of this same way, since it started. I think the key variation of this otherwise monotonous message he has been getting, from fans and foes alike, is, in its brutal short form, “you will be famous after you are dead.” Implicit in this is that he will be famous, and that is pretty galling to hear, I can imagine; in fact it is so outrageous, on the face of it, that I can see why he has this emotional reaction. Probably he should have smacked (in the face) the very first person that ventured such an equation. Dispassionately, we must ask, the writer himself aside, why would anyone say that about anyone? What could possess a mere reader– I almost said “consumer”–to make such a summary judgment? I will tell you, it sounds personal!
—–I think it is the shifty narrator that is making people nervous, his tone and his rapid detours. He and his copacetic narrator, Janus-like, are after making simple readers believe they are special. And causing them to make judgments about what the content of literature actually is!  It is like they have to decide to join an exclusive club; and judge that, while they get it, nobody else will. And while they say this shifty narrator is ahead of his time, they don’t know that for a fact, and probably don’t even believe it, since they aren’t optimistic about the direction of time itself, and they think their kind is being snuffed out, overrun, left-out, rendered useless, etc. So they don’t believe his books will be like . . . required reading, in some future time. Far from it, books themselves are dying, etc, etc. So people who tell him he is ahead of his time are about as disingenuous as you can get, they are really talking about themselves!–and that might be why he wants to smack them. But he can’t, and he won’t, for these are his only friends; it is the relationship he has with them. And you know what? From his point of view, he actually is highly responsible for this adversarial climate. Such fate, and such intimacy, is integral to his duplicitous, mock-heroic style. Get that. And his content, all profound and double-dealing hilarity, twisting like dud fireworks rockets that don’t go off and fall to the ground, littering the future.
—–Listen, he says, waving off what are ersatz objections, I have apocalyptic dreams, in which dead friends and relatives are wandering around, walking up stairways, forlorn. My erstwhile stories are all desperately mundane, exercises in truth-telling. They are literary propagation, of spontaneous imagination, wholly depending on the suggested routes supplied by the phrases. Even more fundamental, the rhythms, enunciations, stripped down  speech. The segues in thought, mirrored in quick transitions. Totally it is wishes and fears played out, fulfilments denied, obscure happiness granted. He is baffled and bored by the merest prospect of a task that would require he employ his thoughts and his obvious gifts of expression to the service of making a record of what only happens in his life. I could say that again, but it rolled out right the first time. Why take pains to report what already exists?  What would be the point of such a testimony? Well, perhaps if one were reporting the miraculous, or if one were drawn into a conflict of testimonies relating to an issue, like a crime or a matter of public policy–if one were even involved in such realms!, then you might employ your gifts in the direction of such, such world abiding things, to the passive instruction of other bathetic sleepers. But as it stands, he is more like Prospero, wide-awake in exile, in charge of borderlands, and assigned to the future of the unimaginable.
—–These clear departures from reality, these falsifications write themselves, and offer the point be established by some lazy, I mean indefatigable reader, who will no doubt jump to his or her own conclusions. Readers are selfish, voracious, they think books are written just for them! Why, they are so ready and opinionated, they are just so pent up, and they read like eating grape nuts. Maybe they are justly so oriented, and jealous of their time and talents, in a climate and culture that has called them weak, declared reading itself as idle, slobbish, and furthermore confused them with false advertising, yes,  and fed them books which are not books at all, but cereal, red meat! Pour it on, Mondrago!  Some people continue to think they are voracious for truth, like that were cordoned off, and delimited as a refuge. But what do my once strong, now fragile readers know?– he says. And I say it too. What do they know?
—–It isn’t as if these touching, affected narratives he tells don’t occur, for they most certainly do occur, in the suspense-filled imagination. This does not make them less true, in fact it makes them wholly of the truth. Imagination is defacto baseless, and therefore undeniable. He does not strenuously project these happenings, or just fancy them, but he tensely watches them unfold, like a serial slideshow. What is the motive? Well that has to be explained, later, in leisure, if we can get some leisure. Though to enjoy what is unfounded is like being creator and consumer at the same time! The great project of awareness does get mixed up, with art, and life is like putty in my hands, he says–and people say, when you start talking like that, it is no wonder you can’t find a publicist, an agent, a market. Ha!
—–Most people don’t even ever locate their own imagination. They don’t recognize it as those idle trains of thought, which don’t seem to them to lead anywhere. And they think it is optional. There are two strikes against it. But in fact imagination is unstoppable, and irreversible, and it is painting the landscapes where you live, and  peopling the afterlife. It is what overwhelms every action–and it is rolling onward into otherworldliness, in spite of you. And it, imagination, is scandalously based in the transitory body. You live in imagination, and are thus emotional, consumed and refueled by gritty desires and ambition of the basest sort, and directed towards an unobtainable goal. You are not even here, but live in your imagination. Ha!
—–And if you put a premium on experience, and try to live in the world unbothered by your unstoppable imagination, you will be overwhelmed by it like it was your enemy. I want to give you a chance, to project all better fictions. Come listen to my comedies. The narrator god is not omniscient, but hedging his bets . . . thrice prophetic, foreshadowing of scenes that will require a future reality. There it is! This is why they say that he cannot be codified, and sold for common goods. The writer is like the weather, imagined before the street is laid. What do you want? I ask myself. And orchestrate a response. I can spin out dialogues with no one present–everyone does this, everyone is preparing. Sometimes one is even worn out, as if by human contact . . .