Thursday, May 13, 2010

Changing the game

I just set up Rachel Glaser's book for pre-orders.

The book is called Pee On Water. I fought to change the title to "The Totems Are Grand," but Rachel won out. She was right. Now I am glad it is called Pee On Water. It is my favorite story in the book. It's the grandest, and most epic. Also, it is funny and looks funny on the cover (which Rachel designed).

I read this manuscript and said, "Things are different now than they were before I read this." Do you ever feel that way? Probably not very often. There aren't a lot of books that change all of literature. They only come around once every hundred years. Maybe just slightly more often than that -- 90 years.

Pee On Water changes everything. I have never read anything like the story, "Iconographic Conventions of Pre- and Early Renaissance: Italian Representations of the Flagellation of Christ."

I was riding the Bolt Bus to NYC, sitting next to Joe, reading "The Magic Umbrella." I became giddy. I kept nudging Joe. I wanted to transmit the things that were happening in my brain straight into Joe's brain. I wanted my thoughts about Rachel's story to go into the thoughts of all the people on the bus.

Rachel does things in these stories that No One Is Allowed To Do In Literature, and she wins. Everything is different. Michael Kimball was the first editor for the book, and we talked about desperation. We wanted desperately to understand how Rachel was pulling out every rug from underneath every person.

If there is this book, then there must also be Santa and free lunches and eternal youth. The impossible is made real.

I am sorry, world, for what I am about to do to you.


gkwak said...

i kid you not, i've bought up or collected probably most of the stories that make up this collection in various mags or online and even put together a little makeshift book for this girl i was dating and put a picture of a manticore on the cover because shit was mythic. she asked me to give her "what she absolutely had to read no matter what."

i remember reading "iconographic conventions" in american short fiction for the first time and feeling like someone gutted me. i put it in the makeshift book but had to type out the entire thing by hand. still couldn't figure out how it was done.

gkwak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam R said...

I love making books of content pulled from the Internet. I have raided Google to make Elizabeth Bishop and WC Williams books. I thought I was the only one who did this.

Mike Young said...

I echo this fervor. Rachel's stories are full of so much language going for the new and swooshing every shot. Very stoked for this book!

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