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305 pages, Paperback
First published June 11, 2019
I hate Vignette’s pieces. They are dreary word puzzles I’m always too bored and annoyed to solve. Each paragraph is a half smile, half frown, way up its own asshole. Also, they beg questions like: when on her perilous, pirouetting journey from Interlochen to Barnard was she ever in a trailer?
”What do you think, Samantha?” Fosco asks me.
That it’s a piece of pretentious shit. That is says nothing, gives nothing. That I don’t understand it, that probably no one does and no one ever will. That not being understood is a privilege I can’t afford. That I can’t believe this woman got paid to come here. That I think she should apologize to trees. Spend a whole day on her knees in the forest, looking up at the trembling aspens and oaks and whatever other trees paper is made of with tears in her languid eyes and say, I’m fucking sorry. I’m sorry that I think I’m so goddamned interesting when it is clear that I am not interesting. Here’s what I am: I’m a boring tree murderess.
But I look at Vignette, at Creepy Doll, at Cupcake, the Duchess. All of them staring at me now with shy smiles.
“I think I’d like to see more of the soup too,” I hear myself say.
She shivers at the view of the grand trees, as if they’re not trees at all but something truly vile, like all the rosy-blond light that seems to forever bathe the campus is about to punch her in the face like a terrible fist of rich.
“Um, what the fuck is this, please? This makes no sense. This is coy and this is willfully obscure and no one but [the author] will ever get this […] spoiled, fragmented, lazy, pretentious […] And then I feel like screaming JUST SAY IT. TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED. TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK THIS MEANS AND WHAT YOU DID WITH HIM EXACTLY.”
“Samantha, we’re at Warren. The most experimental, groundbreaking writing school in the country. This goes way beyond genre. It subverts the whole concept of genre.”
“And gender narratives.”
“And the patriarchy of language.”
“Not to mention the whole writing medium.”
“It basically fucks the writing medium, Samantha. Which is dead anyway, you know?”
“Exactly. This is about the Body. Performing the Body. The Body performing in all its nuanced viscerality.”
Here at Mini they have many cupcakes in mini but they should have more. Why don’t they have more? They should have more in mini, more! We tell them how they should have more in mini and they do not seem to make a note of it.
“Although we could hardly call her a heroine, could we? I mean, could we even call her that, Samantha? […] She’s quite passive, Samantha, isn’t she?”