The Unknown: The Orange Line.

Subject: monstrosities
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 10:20:19 -0600
From: William Gillespie <>
Organization: Spineless Books
To: Thomas LeClair

Frankenstein’s creation is monstrous precisely because it is an artifice assembled from human parts. The Unknown is a dismembered four-way auto/biography- with prosthetic appendages. The mixture of authentic personal correspondence and hallucinatory fiction is made all the more haunting by a floating authorship - sometimes an individual, always a subset of the group. Does this thing have a consciousness? Or many?

Monstrous because parts of it are real, even touching, yet the whole is horribly disgusting, bringing into question that reality we had assumed was bearable.

The Unknown looms in the doorway of serious literature, grunting and drooling and fondling itself. The writers, smoking cigars around the card table, pretend to ignore it. It is their prodigal son and they will under no circumstances invite it in.

The Unknown has Julio Cortazar’s left arm, Adrienne Rich’s heart, Nelson Algren’s mouth, Mary Shelley’s appendix, Jack Kerouac’s liver, Sigmund Freud’s colon, and Krass-Mueller’s left tennis shoe.

The Unknown tells the story of how King Kong, ruined by the excesses of his own notoriety, became a fallen man; how Elvis Presley became a sort of monster.

Without using the word “cyborg,” the Unknown is part machine, part human; an electronic book. A malfunctioning robot spills its drink in its lap, shooting sparks.

The Unknown is Undead: a winged, bloodsucking parasite. It is electronic and cannot be destroyed.

The Unknown is that sound you hear downstairs precisely when you are supposed to be asleep and dreaming of the canon.




sickening decadent hypertext novel META fiction al bull shit sort of a doc ument ary corr e spond ence art is cool look at art live read ings