Thursday, August 23, 2012

Terrance Lindall Toasts The Bottomless Bottle of Beer

Toasting the Bottomless Bottle of Beer
WCIAL "Publishing for a New Age" Team

Avant garde surrealist artist Terrance Lindall recently convened a meeting of the WCIAL members committed to "Publishing for a New Age." As you see, they gathered in a restaurant where -- or so Terrance informs me in an email with the above photo attached -- they toasted my story The Bottomless Bottle of Beer (BBB). The published book will of course be as much Terrance's as mine since some fifty illustrations of his depicting the ten characters will appear therein, bringing the novella to over 100 pages.

Terrance is the distinguished-looking white-haired man in the near right of the photo, and therefore closest to the viewer. The other three members visible counterclockwise starting at Terrance's right are holographic artist Sam Moree, artist, musician, and filmmaker Peter Dizozza, and design artist Orin Buck. Also, in the lower left corner can be seen the aesthetic hand of electrifying painter and sculptor Bienvedo Bones Banez, a fifth member of the publishing team.

Neither I nor Carter Kaplan were able to make this meeting, nor were we expected to, but Carter is a strong supporter of my story and will be pre-publishing it soon in somewhat shorter form, with only four of Terrance's illustrations, in his IA anthology Emanations II. Here are Carter's recent remarks about the BBB in an email to Terrance (cc'd to me) concerning the story's potential appeal to readers:
BBB is a superb bit of work. I don't know if it is me -- and Jeffery and I have already discussed how the story affects people in different ways -- but, my goodness, if you go just below the surface and experience the story "out there" in imagination land, well, I find it very frightening. Isn't that curious? Anyway, as a piece of literary art, it covers all the bases.
That was satisfying to hear, and I hope that Carter's correct about its appeal (though I didn't realize the tale was "frightening"!). Readers will recall that I've posted a few brief selections from the story, but here's another passage that I think I've not previously posted, a scene that follows events on a city bus where the clownish Koroviev forcefully introduced himself and hurried our hapless 'hero' along to Café Griboyedov for cups of coffee and other, more mysterious things:
I caught a brief glimpse of a large red sign with golden Cyrillic script that must have read "Café Griboyedov," as Koroviev dragged me inside. The café was large, spacious, packed; my traveling companion seemed to know everyone as he grasped hands in greeting while we made our way to a table inexplicably free of patrons. I tried to focus on what the tall fellow was telling me about each individual he greeted but could scarcely hear above a loud, jazzed-up version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." And waiters! Griboyedov had waiters! Bearing trays laden with cups and saucers high above their heads, they pushed their way among the patrons, hoarsely shouting, "Izviní!" Dropping the ordered cakes and coffees down onto tables with a clunk, sweeping used cups, saucers, and silverware clattering onto their trays, dumping loads of used dish- and silverware roaring into sinks, shouting out orders for various coffees and cakes. In short, pandaemonium.
The story is intertextual, alluding to other works of literature, often quite directly, and readers who've read Mikhail Bulgakov's famous novel The Master and Margarita will recognize the inspiration for this scene (and I'm indebted to Meergul of Kyrgyzstan, a waitress in Seoul's Craftworks Taphouse, for the Russian word "izviní," which means something like "pardon."). Anyway, you can read the anthology version later this year in IA's Emanations II, as noted above. WCIAL's "Publishing for a New Age" version will take more time since Terrance will want to work on producing the finest of illustrations. His standards are high, and he intends to finish fifty images, at the least.

The book, therefore, might take another year or two . . .

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