For a while, I couldn’t decide which of two final versions I wrote had the better pacing, and this week was a wild week anyway. So it took me a bit longer than expected. But here it is:
Published on Twitter. Enjoy!
If you liked Green Tape and Antidroma, you might also like Jay Martin’s new nanonovel Ouroboros. Nominally it’s a murder mystery, but it has its share of action and ambiguity, and the genre is, once again and quite deliberately, not altogether clear. It starts with a murder and ends with a murder. But you will soon see that the latter might make it necessary to reassess the former. And only then it becomes clear that Ouroboros is, after all, a murder mystery and not a thriller: because in terms of solved cases and solutions, it all comes down to what one would consider psychologically possible.
If there had been more space, I would have dedicated Ouroboros to Robert Coover and John Barth. The idea is based on a story-within-a-story, told by the character Inspector Pardew in Coover’s Gerald’s Party. There, a murder case strikes the Inspector as “too simple” and “too self-referential,” and things turn out to be not quite as expected indeed. Coover gives Pardew’s story a clear-cut ending, but this story-within-a-story rather functions as a pseudo-allegory in a postmodern environment that seems itself “too simple” and “too self-referential” to be fully trusted. From John Barth, additionally, I took the concept that “in order to progress, you have to go back where you started”—which, in a more classical environment, is also true for most detective stories: following the chain of events, the solution will often be found at the beginning, at the scene of the original crime. Or, in postmodern parlance and with a salute to Edgar Allan Poe, even before that: at the scene of writing.
Green Tape (2009)
Fabia Maxima, Consul & General (2008)
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Just in Case-Note: Everything about the form is less than serious—from the novels’ 140-characters format to their ridiculously long “blurbs” and “author’s notes,” respectively, it’s all postmodern flippancy. But the content, and the effort behind it, is serious indeed.
If you have something valuable to add or some interesting point to discuss, I’ll be looking forward to meeting you on Twitter!