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Thrill-crazed space bug

marienbadmylove


Marienbad My Love

the world's longest novel


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An Ode to "Marienbad My Love"
Thrill-crazed space bug
marienbadmylove
   




Novels Are Written, And This Was Not
By Mark Leach
 
Here's a fun exercise:
Open up a chapter of
"Marienbad..."
Pick a page at
Random, and
Look for an interesting phrase.
 
"Bread knife in
The heart." Sure.
"The sick dawn of
Naked dreams."
"1961 Chanel and
Feathers." Whatever.

Hit ctrl+f, and search
For instances of
That phrase. If your
Experience is anything
Like mine, you'll find
Lots, and lots, and lots of

Matches.
Some fun ones
From chapter 14:
"Bread knife in the heart" comes
Up 64 times
"DNA into membranes

Of chilly interplanetary liberty"
49 times
"TV antennae suck the
Celestial machine man
From the sky"
32 times

"Soapy egg flesh house"
63 times
Remember when those
People were able to get
A bunch of computer-generated
Papers, comprised of

Superficially plausible but
Meaningless text, accepted
By a bunch of scientific
Conferences? This is a lot
Like that, except this
Nonsense, in addition to

Being meaningless, is
Pretty agrammatical by
Comparison. I don't
Know if the author
Wrote most of this
With a computer

Program or if he did
It by hand, dutifully
Pounding "ctrl+c", "ctrl+v"
(If it is the former, I think
He could have done much
Better). In any case, the

Point is, as questionable
As this work's notability
Is, even more questionable
Is its claim to being an
Actual novel. Novels are
Written, and this was not.

If the author or
Anyone else wants
To argue that
"Marienbad My
Love" is art, I
Won't disagree with them,

But it is not
A novel. A novel
Isn't just a
Sequence of
Whitespace separated
Tokens of a certain length.

I think it's generally
Accepted that, the
Sentences of a novel
Must have been
Conceived by the
Author

(i.e. not procedurally
Generated or lifted
Entirely from another
Author or source), and
Must be intended to
Convey some meaning.

I wouldn't disqualify
"Marienbad..." for
Being repetitive
(I once read a piece
By Donald Barthelme
That included a sentence

Composed entirely of
The word "butter"
Repeated over and over),
But I would disqualify
It because it's largely
Devoid of meaning

And, as I understand,
By the author's own
Admission, a collage
Of text rather than
Something
"Written."

NOTES: Taken from the “Talk” page of the “Marienbad My Love” article at Wikipedia.org, the words of someone identified only as “Dindon” are set in pseudo-poetic verse. Through the simple act of appropriation, Leach illuminates the larger question of “what defines a novel?” By ventriloquizing Dindon’s voice, Leach also sets into motion a nexus of questions regarding authorship, leading one to wonder: who is pulling whose leg?

NOTES ON THE NOTES: The “Notes” section above is appropriated from the “Notes” section at the end of “Miss Scarlet,” a poem by Vanessa Place that appears at
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=237064