To: Matt Wagner
Subj: Query, Cultural Operator: My White Leviathan of Daily Typewriting
Dear Matt Wagner:
In December 2010, I finished writing a long book called Home for the Holidays: Work and Television at Granny and Grandpa’s.
I posted the book online, daily, as I wrote it, at The Daily Bulletin (www.thedailybulletin.com).
One is conscious
of a milestone like that. Preoccupied is not too strong a word,
although I demur at obsessed. I haven’t sold a word to
If I wrote a novella-length book a month for eight months they would form themselves into a series of four pairs of books, or oppositions. A cultural operator sets up and resolves oppositions in his life and then writes about doing that, in myth. Or tells stories about it. All myth means is stories.
I was trained as a dirt archeologist. Dirt means scat and scat means shit. Dr. Skat is trichloroethylene, a carcinogen. I used to clean my typewriter keys with it.
Remember typewriters? In the documentary about outsider artist Isaiah Zagar, he shit in his hand to get the feel of it. He was very tactile. Cultural Operator is a hands-on kind of book. You get a feel for what the writing life is like. Over four decades.
You could call the four books APPRENTICE, JOURNEYMAN, MASTER, and THE POST-MASTERPIECE (PM) NOVEL.
APPRENTICE was 88,000 words. JOURNEYMAN was 100,000 words. MASTER and THE POST-MASTERPIECE (PM) NOVEL should be about the same length each.
Genre (Daily Typewriting)
William Faulkner said he wrote when the impulse struck him and it struck him every day. Daily typewriting is a cross between what Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac, “That’s not writing, it’s typing,” and what Milt Jackson said about Dizzy Gillespie, “Every time I hear Diz play, I think: `He was just now developing into what you heard tonight.’”
I am just now developing into what you read right here.
Daily typewriting includes poems, prose vignettes, book, movie, and CD reviews, reviews of plays, concerts, and art exhibits, letters to friends, interviews with myself, and crank letters. Sometimes I call what I am doing “crank-lettres.”
I am on course and on schedule. The series ends Jack Saunders Day (my birthday—I’ll be 72).
Jack Saunders wrote 420 books. He published 250 of them online. That is, he produced a body of work, his stack, and invented a form to present it in, daily typewriting. He found a medium to get it out to his coterie of steadfast readers, the Buzzard Cult, through, a web site on the worldwide web and self-published pamphlets. He published 262 pamphlets, chapbooks, fliers, and four-page sheets. He didn’t quit, sell out, or turn bitter. He saw it through. He stayed the course. He stood, and in the evil day, withstood.