I first heard about FC2 when I was an editor at Quarterly West, the literary magazine at the University of Utah. We published several of their authors and FC2 would send us books when they were published. Sometime in there I bought Brian Evenson’s The Wavering Knife.
The text is the residue of a nine-month-long performance piece during which I carried out a specially designed three-pronged system for culling and mixing material from more than a decade of my own journaling with tiny bits of other texts, according to a schedule designed to challenge my short-term memory in various ways.
It was in North Carolina of all places. I was in the Army (82nd Airborne Division) wondering what the fuck am I doing here with all these dumb hillbillies. In those days (let’s say it was 1951, I was still very dumb and naive and unprepared for the rest of my life and sentimental and full of complexes, but ready to take on anyone, anything, in those days I would easily do 100 push ups and 200 sit-ups without blinking), anyway, there I was at Fort Bragg with the 82nd wondering how the hell did I get into this shit, and one day, I remember very clearly it was raining cats and dogs and while all the fat ugly hillbillies were getting drunk or playing poker, I went for a long walk alone in the rain.
I would not want to leave the impression that my print books are a less significant part of my total oeuvre. The truth is, my print books, especially those published by FC2, I hold near and dear to my heart. And I think they are multimedia objects too, not just books. They play with the visual interface of the page as well as the sound/audio potential of language. The Amerika-At-War section of The Kafka Chronicles is every bit as multi-media and virtual as my recent DVD/surround sound piece “Chromo Hack” is.
The author’s role is to write whatever she wants to write however she wants to write it. If authors have strong political opinions, and if they wish to persuade other people of the righteousness of their opinions or even galvanize people into action, in that way they are no different from other people with strong political opinions.
Nietzsche’s Kisses endured an extraordinarily long gestation period — in a sense, nearly thirty years. There are many Nietzsches, of course, and the one I fell in love with first was the existentialist in a philosophy course on the subject I took as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin in 1976 or 1977. I adored his fierce, aphoristic intelligence, his ability to termite through assumptions, his refusal to see the world simply.