03 April 2004

"Born on the Edge of an Adjective" by Christopher Barzak

I should tell you what an effective and affecting story "Born on the Edge of an Adjective" is, what a subtle and odd and pleasurable and unsettling story it is, and I should praise the many skills of Chris Barzak, a real rat bastard, a writer's writer whose work is accessible and humane enough to appeal to a broad audience. I should compare him to Chekhov and Michael Cunningham and Frank O'Hara and my mother. I should demonstrate how the ostensibly plain prose of his story has an accumulatively poetic effect, and I should--

But, you see, Chris and I have been corresponding recently, and--

Oh, hell. I don't care if I'm totally biased: it's a great story, and Chris is such a good person that even if you were inclined to hate every word of everything he wrote, you wouldn't be able to, because the guilt would weigh you down until you were a microparticle of frustrated bile bubbling in the interstices of the universe you previously inhabited. And you wouldn't want that to happen, now would you?

(By the way, I went to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tonight on Chris's recommendation [well, Jeff VanderMeer saying it's one of the best films he's ever seen helped, too], and liked it a lot, even though I've never liked anything with Jim Carey in it. At least 3 people left the theatre before the middle of the movie after grumbling noisily about how weird it was. I found it surprisingly well-grounded in reality, certainly not overwhelmingly bizarre, and far more emotionally charged than other films I've seen with scripts by Charlie Kaufman, but that all may say more about me than Kaufman or Eternal Sunshine. Also, I'm not surprised Kaufman has written a script (PDF) of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, as Endless Sunshine could easily have been a lost PKD story. His script is not the one being used by Richard Linklater for his upcoming film of the book, starring [ugh] Keanu Reeves.)

(By the way II: Revenge of the Parentheses: According to my sources, Chris is going to be a featured writer at Ideomancer in a few months, so more of his work will be available for the teeming hordes which are, or at least should be, clamoring for it.)