« READ THIS! THE ANGEL OF FORGETFULNESS by STEVE STERN | Main | Another Nomination: Our Napoleon in Rags »

Sep 16, 2005


Dan Wickett

Sounds interesting Rake, thanks for the description.

I like the new method of the LBC, discussing all of the nominees within a week of the announcement, much better than the original process.



V. nice summation, Rake. For the record, I was also one of the LBC cats who grooved to Lance Olsen too. The recurring criticism, as demonstrated in the PopMatters review, is largely directed towards what is considered to be either "clunky" prose or unnecessary digressions. But when one considers the structure, and when one views the omniscient narrator as someone trying to pack in as many breathless thoughts into the time as possible, it becomes very clear why the book was written the way it was and why the character depth ranges from paper-thin archetype to fleshed-out fridge-letter fetishist.

Is it possible that Olsen might be playing a grand joke on how Americans perceive each other through inconsequential moments? Why else would this novel be set in the Great Mall of America?

Plus, any novel that references bukkake so explicitly gets a vote from me.


>Plus, any novel that references bukkake so explicitly gets a vote from me.

Ed, you are a cheap date.

Mr. Wickett, if you're still lurking, you mentioned in a comment to the earlier post that you guessed wrong on the Stern, based on Ed's clues. I'm curious about what title you thought it would be.

DAn Wickett

If I'm still lurking...I'm always lurking.

I was thinking Kirby Gann's Our Napoleon in Rags. It met all of Ed's clues - KG, 211 pages, four word title, male author, etc.

Even had a nice blue cover. Plus Ed has raved about it so there was the possibility of his having nominated it and it's a damn good book!




Yeah. I mean, I think the difficulty with a book like this is that some people take the Richard Hugo Stance--somewhere in his book, The Triggering Town, Hugo tosses off a remark about how "experimentation" in literature/poetry is more commonly called "fucking around"--and just ascribe weirdness and apparent incongruency to author carelessness or whimsy. (And, sure, sometimes that's the case.)

Olsen, however, clearly has a plan here--I think one can argue about the execution, but he's not just throwing everything at the page and seeing what sticks.

The interview I linked to is interesting & helpful I think in sussing out where LO was trying to go with the book. For example, he sez:

What fascinates me about the communal event is how when you’re in it you’re always surrounded by an ocean of other people, an ocean of secret histories. And I have always suspected those secret histories are much more emotionally and intellectually engaging than what’s going on on the screen. That suspicion led me to write the print version of 10:01, which is set in an AMC theater on the fourth floor of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, one December Sunday—that is, smack in the heart of the American Dream. The narrative drifts in and out of the minds of forty-some-odd moviegoers, one mouse, and one cat during the ten minutes and one second before the feature begins, nestling into various narriticules behind what appears to be The Narrative (i.e., the about-to-begin movie) but isn’t.

Ah, see! Hadn't even noticed there was a cat-and-mouse game going on.


(One additional note: It's a little misleading to say that the "whole book" is available in the hypertext version. Olsen sez:

...[T]he closer you read the two iterations, the more textual dissimilarities you will uncover between them. Some characters appear in one, for example, but not the other. Some details of their lives don’t harmonize between versions. Some of the text blocks have more or less information in one form than the other. And so on.

So. Pretty close, but not an exact copy.)


Olsen, however, clearly has a plan here--I think one can argue about the execution, but he's not just throwing everything at the page and seeing what sticks.

I'm looking forward to the discussion of this book because of what you're (Rake) saying here. I'm glad you linked to the hypertext version -- it really does turn the reading experience around. While still a bit clunky, it actually brings some of the original visions of hypertext to life.

Lance Olsen

I just wanted to thank you all for such attentive, thoughtful readings of my novel, and for keeping LBC keeping on.

Jozef Imrich

The namesti:
the square that bears your name,
bore the names of soldiers
of the young Red Army—until nineteen
eighty-nine, the year no one had to die,
not God nor Kafka, for whom the fire
to warm the icy world was words

Brilliant post! Anything that mentions Kafka and Prague tends to set world on fire ;-)


I'm pleased LBC picked this. It's a fabulous book and considering its very po-mo ideas very easy to read.

The style of the book will turn some people off, but Olsen's approach is intentional, not accidental. You only need to look at his other work to know that he does it all deliberately. Most of his real playing around takes place in his short work (some of it more successful than others).

As a pointer, he has his own website with a forum. Right now there are some discussions about his book with some students reading it in college classes.

Willie Stark

More proof tying the litbloggers into a vast liberal conspiracy. They can't even pick a proper title! A conservative would never nominate a title like this. The title of this book shows a lack of originality on the part of the author and the litblogger who nominated the title. Did the author look at his watch or something? What next? An LBC pick culled from some author's shopping list? "Head of Lettuce?"

I'm extremely disappointed at the choice. It sets a bad precedent for books and a bad precedent for America. Please tell me that the litbloggers here can do better.


Interesting...and very visceral...reaction. Could you possibly explain your reaction? Olsen certainly comes fromt the left side of politics, but what specifically angers you about the choice? Simply his political leanings, or something specific within the book itself?

male masturbation toys

The male beauty does not compare to anything in this world. Although many people fail this topic is by sexism or jealousy on the part of some women. The truth is that men have a great beauty by simply being male.


I am so Interesting...and very visceral...reaction..thank you so much !~

creative recreation

Your opinion is very unique! Very own set! Rarely see such an article! I think you would probably a lot of thought in it now! I appreciate your talent

new balance

Very lucky to come to your blog here, I got a large amount of information, I really like your blog. First came here, they are so good that you will often see, the article. Thank you for sharing!

Retro Jordan

In overcast conditions the skylight is always blue (clear skies are needed for the pink light) and it is generally much darker, with night falling much more quickly.

cheap air max

Great article though so thanks it's very interesting you did lot of research before posting any new content.

Health News

Thank you for introducing me the wonderful information.And .....Totally boring.!


DwVu3h Good point. I hadn't thought about it quite that way. :)

Auto Parts & Electronics

Thank you for sharing. Very happy to see your article, I very much to like and agree with your point of view. Have a good time.

Inversiones en petroleo

I think that this post is very good because has useful information.

keylogger Mac

I just wanted to thank you all for such attentive, thoughtful readings of my novel, and for keeping LBC keeping on.

reverse phone lookup

figured what the heck, why not here. You said, "And in latter years I've found that it is more interesting to try to understand characters that like each other than those who don't. although that doesn't seem to make sense fictional-wise.

Herve Leger

Work is more that a necessary for most human beings; it is the focus of their lives , the souece of their identity and creativity. (Leonard R.Sayles, British writer)

The comments to this entry are closed.