Glancing up, I witnessed Dina crawling, hair turbaned in a towel, tits nearly dragging along the old wooden planks. The vision brought with it the realization that the degree of conjugacy of a conjugate point measured by the index and degree of degeneracy of the form measured by its corank amounted to the same thing. Degeneracy and degrees of freedom related. It seemed just. Still, it pissed me off that he’d dragged me into conjugate points with dreary shit using determinants, a clunky foray into discontinuous vector fields that seemed unnecessary . . . That’s why I fucking hated books. Too much blah-blah-blah. Limit everyone to two pages.
-- Jim Chaffee, American Dream: Studies in Mathematical Pornography, p. 156

An interview with THOR GARCIA on American Dream: Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Jim Chaffee (Enigmatic Ink, 2014)

Interview conducted by Jakob-Marc Fluhntuster.

PRAGUE (CNS) -- Q: Hello, Thor Garcia, welcome. I trust this marvelous June day finds you hearty and seething. . . . I understand you recently received an advance copy of Jim Chaffee’s new novel, American Dream: Studies in Mathematical Pornography. What’s your immediate impression?

A: Well, thank you, Jakob. First off, American Dream is nothing less than a horrifying, hilarious, soul-sucking, psychedelic experience of excruciating, unforgettable intensity. It’s got sadness and aggression, hatred and defiance, something wicked and druggy and ineffable, draped all over it. But above all, sadness, hilarity, cocks, mathematics, and gaping assholes. It also may be one of the greatest jokes of our time. I may never be sure. That’s the magic. I mean, this is a book where heaving monster cocks, many of them black, are constantly exploding vinegary cock-juice into the mouths of willing babes whose assholes, lest you doubt, are well agape after a furious fucking. Then there is a discussion – often angry and bitter, it seems, and lasting for pages – about mathematical formulae that are surely incomprehensible to the lay reader. This is just some of what Jim Chaffee has given us in the masterpiece he has chosen to call American Dream: Studies in Mathematical Pornography.

Surely –

Yes, at least according the rules most of us observe now, or would testify that we do. But that’s not all, Jakob. I must emphasize – in American Dream, a profound mathematical exploration of prodigious philosophical dimensions seems to be occurring on almost every page. It’s quite disorienting. Mathematical theorems and conceits are continually exposed, dissected, celebrated and tossed aside, mostly without remorse. And then, without skipping a beat, someone is again being reamed by a black cock of inestimable length and girth. As you know, I’m not really capable of discussing the intense math in any detail . . . but the cocks and wide open cunts that Jim Chaffee brings to the fore are quite another matter. Basically, with American Dream Jim Chaffee has stroked and stroked and launched a cruel, blinding, unflinching come-blast into the eye of literature. The effect is dizzying and warping, nauseating and crippling. It resists description. It’s just plain fucked up. I’ve read nothing like it before. It’s a tremendous, epic achievement, one that rightly should inspire fear and longing.

But –

What I’m saying, Jakob, is that this is a book that will fuck with your head. American Dream is likely to be the least reassuring thing you will read this decade, perhaps in your lifetime. This is a book that, possibly, may give you clues about finding your place in the cosmos, if you think about it hard enough. But your conclusions will not be reassuring, of that I can assure you. At the same time, it must also be seen as a highly sentimental work – in the sense, however, that you might be sentimental about a whore’s anus that you once loved and defiled, and witnessed being defiled in a gangbang. Yes, it is that tremendous. And what we can say without qualification is that American Dream puts to shame anybody who’s lately tried to be a literary bad boy, and there are many of them out there, as you well know. . . . Also, it’s a merciless heartbreaker. You will not easily rise from the dead after American Dream. In fact, you may die. If you don’t come close to dying during the reading of this book, you’re probably already dead. Make no mistake: Jim Chaffee is a literary bad man who has come to your house to mouth-fuck your wife and scrawl mathematical equations on your kitchen table and bathroom mirror, debunking all your closely held theories. He will simultaneously be having a second orgasm and a Vietnam War flashback. In sum, it’s an affront to everything we pretend to hold dear, or have tried to ignore in our greed and sloth. The tender reader, I fear, will be rendered unusable under the onslaught that is American Dream. And thank heavens. A book like this is a gift. We must clutch it tightly to our chests.

Fascinating. Tell me, Thor –

Well, Jakob, I felt myself going queasy and unhinged from the opening pages. A totally involuntary reaction. The first night I spent with it, I ending up smashing a champagne bottle against the wall and falling asleep with my face in an ashtray. I woke up trembling the next day, spooked, embarrassed over some of the things I seemed to have been thinking while under the influence of those first 200 pages. . . . It starts off, predictably enough, with a claustrophobic scene involving a pathetic family and a dying mother. There’s a suggestion that they've all gone batty because of religion and the tragedy of the American illusion, and also because they’re weak and tired and their brains never worked so good. We’ve all been there, certainly, but believe me – there’s nothing cute here. Chaffee stomps his boot on the windpipe from the get-go – he’s none too happy with these folks. He’s gone ahead and outlawed sunshine. . . .

Are you suggesting –

No, no. What I’m saying is, the main character seems clearly pissed off – about everything, really. And you’re waiting for him to get started. But again, there’s nothing cute about it – Chaffee makes no attempt to give him attributes that might make you sympathetic to him. It’s a shutout. Instead, we see this guy smoking hash and babbling about Riemannian manifolds and so forth, but in a totally asshole and condescending way. You have no idea what he’s talking about, but he acts like you should, like, right – you should know exactly what he means as he rambles on about diluting his hash and Cauchy-Riemann equations. It’s a staggering combination of arrogance and madness, but totally lucid. You’re thinking – this guy’s a real prick, come on, man, what’s next. . . . Well, sure enough, without much explanation, the next thing you know he’s drinking and having a threesome with a couple of nymphomaniacs named Lori and Millie. It seems perfectly natural. It’s just what this guy does. He just knows a lot of freaky chicks, apparently. In this passage, there’s a delightful description of an extremely hairy asshole. One of the chicks begs Whitey to screw the other in her “hairy sphincter” while the two girls get down sixty-nine style. Whitey obliges, without much comment. Everybody’s moaning and tonguing clits and coming and slurping semen. It’s a wonderful scene, one of many descriptive summits achieved by Chaffee.

But –

Yes . . . so in any event, things continue along. We find Whitey talking about Cantor’s theory of transfinite numbers, and he’s snorting coke and doing drug deals and name-dropping Ferdinand Georg Frobenius, and there’s packs of homos wandering about in the New Orleans haze, and sleazeballs and strange women and suspicious dudes cropping up everywhere, and they’re eating disgusting food and talking darkly and vaguely about unfortunate things that happened or could happen. Good stuff. . . . Also, it turns out Whitey’s got a leg injury from the Vietnam War, which sometimes causes him serious pain, if not total distraction. The crime and loss of the Vietnam War is very much a part of things in this book, indeed it’s the precipice that the whole thing is built on. But to Chaffee’s immense credit, it’s far, far from a “Vietnam book,” as least as we’ve been trained to understand such beasts. Vietnam is mainly the ignored, unwanted spectral guest in the room, but there’s no ignoring the stink it gives off. . . . Anyway, and maybe, you know, Whitey’s got a big, ugly dick. Well, it seems like he might. . . .

What the fuck are you talking about? Who is this “Whitey”? That’s a very provocative name, isn’t it?

Is it? Yes, absolutely. That would be the superhero, or perhaps just math-anal superstar, of American Dream – Whitey Butcher. Whitey repeatedly drops suggestions that he’s a true bad-ass, but the braggadocio mostly seems half-hearted, not completely persuasive. Whitey’s cagey, he never seems to reveal exactly who he is, at least not in the conventional way of most books – most of which, we must admit, are quite bad. Whitey does inform that he was teenage delinquent, and that he went on to fuck a married woman in junkyards and on the side of the road and in skuzzy hotel rooms. . . . In any case, then he signed up for Vietnam. The military liked his bad attitude and fighting spirit – now here’s a lost, unfeeling bastard we can really chew up. . . . Whitey comes off as a somewhat arrogant, immoral character who seems to have a nuclear-level rage burning just below the surface. You worry what might happen if he could ever force himself to give much of a damn. But that’s one of his strengths – he never seems to lose his cool, no matter how much crazy shit is going down. He seems to have a resigned indifference to just about everything – a far-out distance from what’s occurring right in front of him. . . . As I say, he’s not easy to like, and you never find yourself rooting for him. But he’s also not the kind of guy who would give much of a damn about whether you like him or not. Whitey seems to have achieved some kind of mental or philosophical breakthrough that allows him to use this ingrained aloofness to his advantage. At the same time, he never quite gets around to saying exactly what’s happened that’s made him this way – dick-swinging chick magnet, jaded pervert, and mathematical fiend. His narcissism is operating on an altogether different level. For all the freaky scenes he indulges in, all the hot whores who are constantly munching his balls, his intellectual triumphs over everyone he encounters – Whitey never seems too impressed with himself or anybody else. He’s not captive to the same egomania that fucks with other people’s brains. His nonchalance, I must say, is more than a little uncomfortable – it adds to the sense of horror and depraved unreality of this deeply unsettling book. Whether Whitey’s shooting his load into some slut’s mouth, getting his ass rimmed, doing coke and slugging cocktails, hanging out with folks who fuck dogs and make bestiality movies – it doesn’t seem all that much of a big deal to him. You get the idea he could take or leave it. . . .

And yet. . . .

Right. But let him get started talking about the math – oh, dear. This guy is a whiz at the complicated math. He thrives on it, even more than he thrives on sticking his dick in an anal whore. Whitey can talk the math talk for pages and pages. See, if it’s not about the hardcore math science, it’s total bull to Whitey. He just ain’t interested. Whitey’s got a few things to say about economics and what he regards as the other fraudulent sciences. But what really seems to get Whitey off is ass-fucking and sex-slaving to ruminations on the Smoluchowski Equation. . . . Anyway, it’s spectacular. Suddenly Whitey will shift out of the math and there he goes, ramming his dick in another chick’s ass. Or maybe he’ll be watching some black guy called “Mule” perform the service with a cock the size of a fire hose.

But, surely –

Exactly, Marc-Jakob. This book, as I say, if it has nothing else, has really got a great number of gigantic black cocks pumping and pumping away in every orifice a woman can possibly offer. Girls are constantly begging for black cock, and sucking and getting fucked in the ass by gigantic black dicks, and indeed, hoping to be impregnated by black cocks. “Whitey,” of course, digs it – it’s absolutely tremendous, delicious. Somebody stop him, Jim! – but no, sir. Chaffee slays again, another black cock straight through to the abdomen. I remember one passage in particular – “Nigger dick is best,” says a “carpeted bush.” Yes, it’s a phenomenal exploration of this classic Americanism, this white male fear/desire. Fans of black cocks – and as you know – as you well know – we can confirm there are a great many in this world – will be extremely gratified with what Chaffee has cooked up in American Dream. . . . In sum, then: Whitey Butcher fought the gooks, got fucked over while fighting the gooks, fucked lots of whores in the ass, mastered the math, took all the drugs, and apparently became a millionaire. And in the end, he didn’t amount to anything.

Before we go on – for the record, Thor, do you know Jim Chaffee?

I’ve never met him, no. . . . But he was one of the first on the internet to publish one of my stories, on his Drill Press site, The Big Stupid Review, which I highly recommend everyone take a look at. You can get some clues about what Jim Chaffee’s thinking about by examining the Drill Press. It was very inspiring for me. His earlier novel, Sao Paulo Blues, is also an outstanding work and is widely recommended. About stuff the American expatriates get up to in Brazil.

What would you –

Anyway, Jakob, through no real fault of his own, Whitey eventually winds up with this fantastic, lovely, disgusting pig of a girl named Dina. They cut a deal and Whitey chains her up in a New Orleans hovel. Dina’s a brilliantly pretentious, if misguided, intellectual whore – and a cock-craving slut of the very highest order. As if you had any doubt. In fact, for some time Dina made her living fucking dogs for the merriment of rich people. She became well-acquainted with the finer points of male canine genitalia, and some of those details will certainly be an eye-opener for many readers.

But, in what sense –

Of course she is, Jakob. What did you expect? And yes, it makes perfect sense. Dina is soon outfitted with a leather mask and forced to crawl around on her hands and knees, drinking and eating from a dog bowl. When he’s not ejaculating all over her, which is early and often, Whitey is more than content to watch her get mouth-fucked and gangbanged by a crew of skuzzy dopers and skunks who he sometimes hangs around with for illegal purposes. . . . And Dina’s perfectly happy – the story makes clear that her goal in life is to be abused and dominated, to be an anal fuck slave – to agree to be a slave, at any rate. It’s her choice, you see, and we should respect and honor it – and I do. There’s a keen passage where Dina explains that she’s tired of men who want her be a filthy anal slut when she’s in bed with them . . . but a prim and sexless housewife in her encounters with men in the outside world. This chick, man, no way – Dina wants to be an anal slut all the time. She’s hooked on the thrill. She craves losing her moorings, her sense of identity, her fears and sadness, by allowing men to indulge their most savage fantasies and agonies by ravaging her body to their heart’s momentary satisfaction. It’s her passion, her game, her power.

Would you say –

No. But what I can say, Jakob, is that Dina insists on calling Whitey “sir,” at all times. And when they are not fucking, sucking and ejaculating, they are often fond of preening pompously together while pontificating about white-male domination and Benjamin Lee Whorf. And so on. And so there is this imaginary depth that they play at. . . I’m going to say that this girl, Dina – you can see her as the true hero of American Dream, if we believe there is such a thing. She gives of her body and soul in order to soothe and worship Whitey, to make him feel desired and in control. No matter how callously and squalidly he treats her, no matter how often he whores her out, no matter how often she’s humiliated, she only insists that she craves more. In this way, she stays true to herself – devoted, disciplined, and dignified, no matter how much splooge from strange men might be streaming from her nostrils. In any event, she is eventually purchased from Whitey for $2 million. Whitey pockets the money and shrugs. No doubt, many tender and humorless readers will find something contemptible in all of this, along with many other frightful aspects of this book. Again, Jakob – Jim Chaffee deserves many congratulations for his achievement. We must stand up and applaud.

What do you think –

Well, I don’t know, Jakob. Yes, indeed, there are times it all seems like a gargantuan joke – and I’m not sure who it might be on. The math, or the study of what you might call ideal constructions, adds to the unreality, the separation from the world of ordinary concerns. Perhaps it’s the logic-based parameter that emphasizes Chaffee’s idealized world of insatiable sluts and endlessly splooging penises. For those not competent in the math, it ends up being like poetry from another planet, an alien language. You let it flow over you, enjoying the sensuality of the terms, mysterious equations and names. You can imagine that the math is some kind of madman’s insanity – which works as a proposition on its own – or you can assume that Chaffee knows a little something of what he’s talking about – that in some way, he’s laying waste to faulty structures, lowering much-needed booms on the frauds of the Math Wars . . . all with a sadistic, sybaritic grin on his face. If you can cross that threshold, it takes on its own poetic surrealism. And then, without fail, we’re back to the ass-fucking. Chaffee is a man who seems to love his algebra and his assholes in equal measure. There’s no other way to put it. He deserves many prizes, on both the U.S. and international stages. American Dream should be made into an NC-17 feature film, as directed by the members of Throbbing Gristle or GWAR.

But how –

Jesus, Jakob – how many times do I have to say it? It’s the cocks, the cocks, the cocks! Misshapen white cocks, flaccid and bendy cocks, black cocks as long as elephant trunks and thick as giraffe necks. In the end, Chaffee makes the totally legitimate point that all women want to get hosed, indeed to get impregnated, by black dudes with long schlongs. . . Personally, I counted more than 400 uses of cock, dick or penis throughout the book, which averages to about one every page and a half. . . . There’s also a curious case where a girl has “a clitoris the size of a baby’s fist shaped like a glans penis but without shaft or meatus.” And in answer to your question, Jakob – the answer is no. . . . Chaffee turns out to be a very cruel and vicious writer, which makes him, by definition, a very funny one as well. As one character says: “All reality is local. Worse, you cannot be sure what is the imaginary. Or the power of the types. In an unstable theory, not all types are definable. Indiscernible is one thing, indefinable another entirely. You can’t be sure – these models are not homogeneous – you can’t be sure where you end up with what. Elementals can be imaginary or maybe you can be imaginary or both. What is eliminated?” To which Whitey responds: “You sound like a witch.” It rarely gets better, anywhere, in any country or time.

Is there any –

No – the human spirit, as you well know, Jakob, is not noble. That is an idiotic myth. No, Jim Chaffee has created nothing less than a soul-trampling work of genius and rampant anal sex, chock-filled with all manner of druggy sloth, blasted personalities, decayed spirits and sheer far-outness. It’s a masterpiece for the math geek and anal pervert in all of us. But it’s a tear-jerker, too, and a dick-jerker. . . A heavy, hideous shadow of unrequited loss lays across its brow. Chafee goes further in sincerity, confusion, obscenity, and brutal and joyful provocation than just about anybody I’ve ever read. What I am trying to say is – well, truly, it made me question just what the fuck are people doing with their books, including myself. Why are they bothering? And that's a great thing for Jim Chaffee to have accomplished. This is a book where men may go to die.

Thank you, Thor Garcia.

Thank you, Marc-Jakob.

Thor Garcia

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message 1: by Kane (new)

Kane Faucher Best (anti-?) review of JC's gritty yet clear brilliance I have ever read. And go read Thor Garcia's apocalypse of st cleo! And risk yourself reading American Dream, too. Unless you are a suburban neoliberal, in which case you may continue reading Limbaugh-esque distortionist spark notes to the hybrid volume of the bible and Adam Smith. Or not read at all as the heroic consumer von Mises and Hayek and Friedman want us all to be in the neo-scholasticism of cybernetic capital.

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Thor Garcia
Reporting on the news with Thor Garcia, journalist and author of THE NEWS CLOWN, ONLY FOOLS DIE OF HEARTBREAK, and TUND.
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