The Unknown: The Red Line.
  The reception at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library was unbearably lavish the day they awarded William the MacArthur Foundation grant. Dirk was up in the front row, clapping and burnishing William’s apple, knowing the that enfant terrible, unsung genius, outlaw man of letters would need to take a bite the moment his speech, which he had written on a cocktail napkin as Richard Powers introduced Gillespie as “the fluxists, the beats, the left bank and the black mountain poets, the OuLiPo, the Faulkner, the Grisham on acid of our day, all trapped in one unheralded author” ended.

“I’ve always been an outsider, I’ve always toiled in obscurity, I’ve always been unnoticed and I worked hard, I worked harder than any other living author. But writing is my job, you see, and I’ve remembered that every day. I’ve taking on challenges, like writing a novel without vowels, like writing a sestina using only conjuctions, like writing translations of French novels in Russian without having deep knowledge of either language, I’ve remained true to my vision and I’ve remained unknown.”

Dirk got some tears in his eyes. Scott needed to excuse himself when his damn cell phone went off. Only to hear that Michael Joyce wasn’t happy with his suite. Quickly making another phone call, he chewed out the concierge at the Five Seasons, got some Dom sent up to Joyce’s room and dashed back into the ornate rotunda, not wanting to miss another word.

“. . .what thanks is that? They spelled my name wrong on the dust jacket. And I have continued to toil in obscurity while lesser writers wore the laurels of the day. I have amassed volumes and volumes in these years, and all I have wanted is to share them with you, my adoring public. All two of you,” and the crowd roared with laughter.

“But thanks, thanks for the money. I couldn’t have done it alone. Well, that’s not entirely true. When you break it down. But my friends, my friends have helped me to get to where I am today. Which is not very far. But thanks, Dirk, for doing my laundry for all those years when I was composing ‘ETCETERA,’that infamous work known to every graduate student in the world, written about in thousands of critical journals, and yet read only by a few because of the difficulty of its complex iambic pentameter palindromic structure. I could not leave that desk for the intensity of it and I’m glad you kept up the stream of imported beer and exotic cheeses as well. I’m still the outlaw poet I was when this all started. I haven’t forgotten that. You still don’t know my name. The money helps, but I remain truly unpublished in the deep sense of the word. Why just the other day, I heard a conversation about the work of William Faulkner in which my own work was not mentioned.”

Scott coughed. Dirk glared at him from across the hall.

“And some fuckers still call me Bill. I ask myself the immortal question and leave it to you to decipher: Why am I not loved? Better yet: Why am I not loved more? Still better: Why love not better I am not known better loved better published and feted better why I you know not love I am? But this money is good and you have done good in giving it to me good. Good Good Good. God good goo goo koo koo ka chew? I’ve not been shot, like John Lennon, and I’m thankful for that. I love you, Powers, you’ve been good to me, man, and I can only hope that I spend this money wisely, wisely on my writing which is wise in the sense that we are all wise, that we are wise fools. Phil Ohcs was dead when he was my age, man. Shakespeare had more written and it was better than the bulk of my shit but he had like a whole committee working on it. I haven’t had actors but for the puppet things in my head. MacArthur men and women, you have chosen wisely. I deserve this. And the wine better be good folks, cause I’m a thirsty man.”

William grinned broadly and the world basked in his boyish charm.

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