Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Drawing from "Last Question of the Evening"

Full story (with videostory links) here: http://thedanforthreview.blogspot.ca/2017/10/fiction-75-finn-harvor.html

The Invention of a New Artistic Genre

The invention of the the author-made videostory:

This is a link to a short story that took me many years of shopping around before I got it published recently in the Danforth Review. In the interim, I made a video version of it. The video is far from perfect; however, all elements of it -- from the text, narration, music, to the art -- are made by one individual, so therefore this project qualifies as an authorial movie as I define the term. I hope I don't sound too show-boating in describing it this way; I realize the project isn't perfect. However, I think it stands as a form of genre creation. While there are many "short story movies", these are group projects -- in effect, forms of short film. And a lot of them are great. However, this particular project, "Last Question of the Evening", ranks as a different category of narrative form in the sense that, because it is entirely author-created, it resembles individually-created literature more than a group-created movie. As a result, for better or worse, its vision and aesthetic, is that of its maker.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Last Question of the Evening - a story and authorial movie

Last Question of the Evening

Full link: http://thedanforthreview.blogspot.ca/2017/10/fiction-75-finn-harvor.html


Fade in.

An office comprised of cubicles, all of them lined in rows, as if the aisles of an airplane had been converted into office space. In each cubicle, a worker with a headset.

"They're all liars," a voice through one headset says.

The man conducting the interview, Anders, doesn't reply. He waits for the respondent to answer the question in the survey.

"Eh?" the respondent says, his voice charged with a coercive energy. "Whaddayou think?"

"A lot of people feel the same way you do, sir."

"That's right!" the man from rural Saskatchewan says. "They all go to Ottawa, they promise you the world, and then they do nothing."

Pause. Anders glances at the supervisors' station, eager to see if his call is being monitored. He can't make out the supervisors' screens.

"Sir, if you could please answer the questions as they're phrased, we'd get through this much faster."

Saying this is a mistake; not because the respondent is offended by Anders's chastisement, but because it suddenly makes him aware of how long he's been on the phone. "Good lord, mister! Lookit the time! We've been yammerin' for half an hour!"

"We're almost done," Anders lies.

"I can't be talkin' about all this sort of political nonsense for half an hour!"

"Please, sir. Would you just bear with me for another ten minutes?"

"Ten minutes?! Listen, I don't have ten minutes. I think I told you enough."

"Is there some time I could call you back at?"

"No. I'm real busy. I said enough. You just fill in the rest."

"I can't do that, sir." Now a note of pleading has entered Anders's voice. "I'll get through the rest of this really fast. If we don't finish it, then I'll have to throw the whole thing out."

"Am I gettin' paid for this?"


"Are you sendin' me money? I give you a lot of my time, I expect something in return."

"Sorry, sir, the company I work for hardly pays me anything, I don't think they'd be generous enough to start mailing cheques to all the people we interview."

This attempt to establish a sense of camaraderie falls flat. "I'm serious, mister. I gotta go," the man says.

The line is cut.

Anders lets out a deep sigh and swivels around in his chair. He first looks at the supervisors' station, then the clock. It's twenty to ten. An incredible exhaustion, mitigated by the proximity of quitting time, washes through him. He rubs his eyes and stands up.

Laura, one of the supervisors, casts him a condemning glance. Feeling guilty, then, an instant later, feeling with defensive pride that he does his fair share of work and deserves the occasional break, he walks over to the station.

"Cheques in?" he says. The question is virtually rhetorical.

Laura looks at him with her glassy, neutral eyes. "No," she says.

"They were supposed to be here at five," Anders says.

"Don't blame me. There was some screw-up with the payroll system."

"Yeah, well --." Anders bites his tongue. He simply says, "I need that money."

"You're not the only one." Laura smiles tightly. "They'll be in tomorrow."

"I'll be hungry tomorrow."

Perhaps Laura feels a touch of compassion for him. She regards him with full attentiveness. But then she says, "You should plan ahead."

Anders gives her a what's-that-supposed-to-mean? look, then turns away to make a trip to the washroom.

On the way back, he notices one the senior analysts behind the glass wall that separates the executive offices from the hall that leads to the teleresearch room where the interviewers work. The analyst is a bulky guy who's shaved his head bald and clearly works out. He has the aggressively friendly, somewhat sinister manner of a doorman at a night club. In front of him is a woman in a power suit.

Anders only glimpses all this as he walks down the hall.


Read the rest here: http://thedanforthreview.blogspot.ca/2017/10/fiction-75-finn-harvor.html

Soirée coréen/ Korean evening - Yongin

"Talking with Rahim while packing"

D'un de mes romans illustres

From one of my illustrated novels

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

On "CanLit Accountable"

For those who follow writing in Canada (which effectively divides into two main groups of English and French, and also has groupings of Indigenous languages), there have been a series of scandals about several writers -- almost all of them male professors at creative writing programs.......

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"With Demsky"

D'un de mes romans illustres

From one of my illustrated novels