CULT WRITER. September 24 - November 11. 98,000 words. Writing the great American novel on the worldwide web, March 18, 2000 to the present. I ask Mike Lister, Pottersville Press, for a $1,000 advance, to quit my job, stay at home, and write CULT WRITER, but he can't see his way clear to do that. I start pitching the MS to New York agents. I have a booth at Oktoberfest 2007 and write a pamphlet for the occasion, Oktoberfest 2007. Oktoberfest is a bust. I don't think I'll do it again next year. I change the name of CULT WRITER: I WRITE AN IMMOBILIZED HERO NOVEL IN REAL TIME, OR, SAVING LITERATURE ON THE INTERNET to CULT WRITER. The only thing I can rescue is Miss Weekiwachee from the Creature From the Black Lagoon. I publish Saunders Gets the Blues, a pamphlet about Oktoberfest 2007. This gets me blacklisted from next year's street fair by the town burghers. I seem to be in a rerun of my own home movie. The Dreyfus Affair - Banned Books. They aren't banned books, they are garage band books. What else would a cult writer write? I write 13 Short Reviews of CULT WRITER. I wasn't really banned. I just, nobody wants it. I wasn't blacklisted. I just, nobody wants it. I see that 13 Short Reviews of CULT WRITER makes 200 pamphlets, chapbooks, fliers, and four-page sheets I have written, and published myself, and write a pamphlet, 200, to celebrate the milestone. Whew--white folks!
ANTHROPOLOGIST-IN-RESIDENCE (AIR). November 12 - December 31. 75,000 words. Razz Heap works as an anthropologist-in-residence (AIR) at the L. A. (Lower Alabama) Folk Life Center in Point and Shoot, Florida. He reads a reminiscence of Isaac Bashevis Singer by his son, Israel Zamir, and realizes he is a luftmensch, like Singer. An impractical person, who lives on air, or with his head in the clouds. Kinda unhandy, when your actual job title is handyman. Heap watches The Charles Bukowski Tapes, which he bought, on DVD, and reads Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System That Shapes Their Lives, which he checks out on interlibrary loan, to try to understand his situation. Then (1) Norman Mailer dies, and (2) his high school graduating class, the Class of '57, celebrates its 50th anniversary, which he can't attend, because he's flat broke, and he realizes that he is living the dream. The Class of '57 had its dreams. He not only became a poet; he became an American master. He sees that ANTHROPOLOGIST-IN-RESIDENCE (AIR) and CULT WRITER combine to form the two-book set, American Master. A post-masterpiece novel. A book like Graham Greene's Ways of Escape, which was combined from introductions to his collected books, compressed or enlarged, and published as a stand-alone book, a continuation of his earlier autobiography, A Sort of Life. What cheek. The bare-assed boy with cheek. The striped-ass ape of American letters. Here comes, there goes William Saroyan. Whoo. Think Little Richard in the automobile insurance ad. Mashed potatoes and gravy! If it's a post-masterpiece novel, what's the masterpiece? The first 300 volumes of his stack, 40-Year Run. Each book related to the book before it and the book after it. Invited to read at Verse & Vice, at the Gallery Above. Print up a pamphlet to give out, A Christmas Story. Ought to be a classic, read every year, like watching Itís a Wonderful Life. Decorating a Christmas tree with a tumbler of Scotch in your hand. Watch outódonít pull the tree over on yourself. Celebrate Ellaís 5th birthday at the Folk Life Center. Owen and Jean are down for a month at a rental cottage in Blue Mountain Beach, Owen and Balder playing together as The Saunders Brothers, Sam Bush sitting in on mandolin. Baby, let the good times roll. Susan and Rob drive up from Delray Beach for Christmas.
FEAR OF THE SACK. January 1 -January 20. 27,000 words. FEAR OF THE SACK makes American Master three books, not two. Subtitled How Jack Saunders Wrote His Great Wall of Books in Spite of the New York Literary Establishment (NYLE). Like Cormac McCarthyís Border Trilogy. I change the subtitle of American Master to American Master: A Frontier Trilogy. Northwest Florida is the frontier, where the corporate-cubicle dot-com culture butts up against the mullet culture like a civilian butting his head up against a stun gun in No Country for Old Men. Only, the corporate-cubicle dot-com culture is winning. The mullet culture is going the way of seine fishermen after the net ban and shrimpers without turtle-excluder devices (TEDs). Thereís no Territory to light out for, except the Territory Behind. This is a book about what we are losing, what we have lost. It wonít be back. Itís gone. Itís out like Lottieís glass eye. The books are an elegy. A lament. Itís not an SOS itís a warning. An alarm. Itís not about me, itís about them. Dem. Itís about us. Donít hang a racist jacket on me, Horace Tapscott said. I donít hate them, I just like us more. Donít you? Wouldnít you? I change the title of American Master: A Frontier Trilogy to Razz Heap: An American Master. Heap transformed the novel. Everybody ought to be a cult writer somewhere. Heap is. Might as well love his fate. Embrace it. Razz Heap, Florida writer. Point and Shoot, Florida writer. I publish How To Write a Post-Masterpiece Novel. I realize that RAZZ HEAP: AN AMERICAN MASTER is a book in three parts rather than a series of three books and that RAZZ HEAP: AN AMERICAN MASTER is my Absolute Zero immobilized-hero novel, my white leviathan, my Wales, my sow. My botched book. I change the name of RAZZ HEAP: AN AMERICAN MASTER to DOWN AND OUT IN POINT AND SHOOT: THE HANDYMAN CHRONICLES. Or HANDYMAN, for short.
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