The natives are restless… or… Something Wiki This Way Comes.

Many years ago, so many in fact that I just became depressed trying to figure out how many it was, I went to a Lollapalooza concert in Saratoga Springs. There were, of course, multiple stages and kiosks and pseudo-hippies trying to convince themselves that this was like Woodstock, only better, and that the 60s were, like, coming back, man. What always stuck out for me though, was the a large metal structure, a sort of giant skelatol cube shape that had pots and pans and garbage can lids tied to it. There were collanders, hub caps and giant springs. There were baking sheets, pipes and kitchen sinks. All of these metal objects were tied to this metal skeleton that rose probably 12 feet in the air and was at least that wide on all four sides. And around it, surrounding it, beating on it, were dozens of people. Someone handed out drum-sticks and this group of strangers beat the living daylights out of these metal pieces, these broken parts of cars, kitchen and the underbellies of homes. Instinct drove the swinging of the sticks and what came out had a rhythm, slowly moving, shifting, constantly evolving. For a moment someone with a heavier hand would control the sound, his beat making others adjust to him, but only for a few seconds.
Bam-bam-bum, bam-bam-bum, bam-bah-beh, beh-beh-bu-bu, beh-beh-bu-bu…
It went on and on. It didn’t stay in any place for too long, and it was a machine-like frenzy, a tribalesque mash of needing to be a part of it, of wanting to belong, without thought, without judging. Some lead, others follow, then lead, then follow. It never stopped, the entire time I was there which was roughly twelve hours. Sometimes people drifted away, the sound shrank, but wouldn’t die. At one point I walked by and saw barely 10 people working at the now horribly mis-shapen pieces of scrap. It was being pounded into the ground, I thought. When they clean up, they won’t even need to take that, it will be buried. Later, after the sun was gone and little light shone in the trees where the metal had been placed I could hear the hollering and crashing of dozens, again, working the metal.
Was it music? I don’t know. It was hypnotic. It was strangely attractive. But in the end, it was uncontrolled, and an exercise is release more than a controlled artistic statement.
Penguin, it seems to me, is doing the same thing here: A wiki-novel. It’s unreadable, or easily readable, if you simply want to jump in wherever. I suggest reading it backward, that way you can start with the last line (currently last line, as I type this) which is (was, will be) “The nuclear bomb exploded, ending all life on Earth.” When Penguin cleans up and moves on, I don’t think they’ll take this “novel” with them. It will be buried.

Orhan Pamuk: Why I write.

Orhan Pamuk, Turkish writer, winner of the Nobel Prize, has recently cancelled a trip to Germany, apparently because he was worried that he might be assassinated. We talk of censorship and fear of ideas in this country, but it’s rare that we encounter this level of hatred and reactionary violence. We talk of writer’s block and the anxiety of findng an agent, publisher, marketing push, but not of bullets or bombs or vieled threats stated during the investigation of another writer’s murder. We talk of royalties and advaces. They talk of historical events and get labeled with the crime of “anti-Turkishness,” a crime for which you can be tried in Turkey.
And in the midst of all this, Mr. Pamuk spoke at the ceremony awarding him his Nobel, and touched on “Why I write.”
Quote: Let me change the mood with a few sweet words that will, I hope, serve as well as that music. As you know, the question we writers are asked most often, the favourite question, is; why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write! I write because I can’t do normal work like other people. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at all of you, angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can only partake in real life by changing it. I write because I want others, all of us, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at all of you, so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page, I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all of life’s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story, but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but – just as in a dream – I can’t quite get there. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.
I can’t think of any way to approach or add to this level of dedication, artistry and honesty.