Even if bots, trolls, and lurkers were not the issue.
Yet the hashtag novel is a kind of cool idea. A little cut and paste. A little curry. Accessible in real time. I hear Burroughs did this, but I don’t go near Burroughs. Cold Fish. Let’s just call it a cloud novel, with all the trimmings. I have lots of cloud novels up.
Testcut. This was originally one of the titles considered for Arisugawa Park (now A Beautiful Case of the Blues), relating to the ancient art of tameshigiri. That’s an egg parenting program for device, in case you are wondering. You feed it worms and clean the virtual nest, hoping a vulture does not swoop down.]
Original Post 3/15:
#testcut is not Banksy, not quite. It is the notion that a novel will be hashtagged to the reading public in real time, as it is created.* The equivalent of that David Hockney piece recorded stroke by stroke on his iPad until it was complete. (This was one of my favorite pieces in the De Young's A Bigger Exhibition). The idea that we can watch the act of creation and revision, again and again, in its entirety.**
#testcut is immediacy in writing beyond anything possible until recently. If Dickens released his work in installments and Andy Weir (the Martian) in blogposts - Keroac on an onionskin loop - this is something even more haiku flowing… Each 10 tweets a unit, like movie cuts, but taken from throughout a novel that has not yet been mapped. Subconscious meanderings that eventually thicken, cohere. Or not - high-wire writing, without a net. Here, for clarity, the gestation phase:
First there were skirmishes, then there were wars. Then an uneasy peace pervaded the place. Only the place had ceased to exist.
To a place where time, if not exactly still, is very nearly silent.
When procrastination is not an option, empty your mind & begin without aim. Themes will sort themselves out.
One to admire, one to cast aside. One for the road.
Faced with a decision, circumspect. Timed release, I'll be out of the room by the time you––
Amiable, egalitarian, her hair glinted in a certain light. Foggy.
Truth twisted with a hint of rye. I took the news straight.
Circumstances dictate that I write this on this on toilet paper, in lemon ink. You will know why when I escape. #hethought
You will never know the ways I tried to find a place that we two could share. Hopeless. #shethought
Crisp, her eyes shone in the light. How do we stay afloat?
When the world catches up, it is time to move on.
* If the literary forensics research is correct, Twitter novels have been in existence since 2011, taking form 140 words at a time. Micro novels are particularly popular in Japan, presumably written on crowded commute trains where there is just room to maneuver a cell phone (a phenomenon I knew well).
And now for something completely different:
I peeked under tightly pulled sheets,
to see what items lay there for my acceptance, removal.
The contents were the same, no matter how many
layers I peeled.
Then I opened my eyes and everything changed.
The single viewpoint is not certain––
the multitude are waiting to be uncovered.
Push against the idea that an algorithm
will decide who goes forward.
Burn brightly in self-made domain,
Sense of smell came later and was intoxicating,
Four walls, inert, unless you push
with unceasing labor
and work your way out
Touch, the most far reaching of the senses––
intimations of birth and death.
I heard the gurgling of voices, laughter,
I sensed the grandness of what lay beyond,
I wept and wept when I heard that song
and it still did not hear me.
And finally the hills gained ears,
They were trolls,
Bent on separating self from soul.
Life and forgotten breath.
With listening comes––
**Art can be purchased at damonarvid.com. Get it before it gets you.