The Invisible Hand Beats Back

Some people believe e-books are going to send the quality of literature down the drain, but I have more faith in the invisible hand. I’m confident that the invisible hand will maintain rigorous control over the markets. Sure, every now and then one or two books are going to slip by, but these are exceptions to the rule, and they operate with massive advertisement campaigns that skew market controls and common sense.

Kickstarter proves that people know bad books when they see them. If you dig deep into the site – and Kickstarter makes it really, really difficult to do this (for a good reason, I might add) – you’ll find dozens of writers who are asking people to give them tens of thousands of dollars to produce a work of fiction that is not only based on an asinine idea but is also one that they have yet to start: I imagine that most of these writers couldn’t even finish the project even if they did get funded. And if they were able to complete it, I have complete confidence that it would be almost unreadable.

Sadly, one of these projects is Memloch by Peter Barnes, who has received no support over the first week of his campaign to raise $20,000. Unbeknownst to the Kickstarter community, Barnes has written one of the most glorious sentences in the history of the English language in his Kickstarter introduction. Let me break it down for you clause by sweet clause:

Based on the dystheistic belief that not only is God not wholly good, but that he might even be evil,

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Lemme get my dictionary out. Is “dystheistic” even a real word? It is? Well played, Peter Barnes. Well played.

the main concept of this work is rooted in the idea of “god as the devil,”

*Brain explosion*

and the plot accordingly centers around the sadistic, misanthropic, and misotheistic antihero called Memloch,

*Scrambles back to the dictionary* Yes, “misotheistic” is also a word, and it means “to hate God/gods.” Touché, mon frère. However, Barnes doesn’t know he’s about to enter a world of grammatical pain…

whom, although unbeknownst to himself, is actually God, in the form of a man,

BOOM. Barnes is so correct with his usage of “whom” he’s HYPERCORRECT.

and whom, under the exorbitant pressure of being the sole ruler of the universe, has suffered a complete mental break,

DOUBLE HYPERCORRECTION! Whom let this Barnes guy near a computer?

and in his madness, falls from his heavenly throne, and wanders the earth with no memory of his true identity,

At least this fictional God would have forgotten he’d been created by a grammatical hypercorrector.

thereby allowing the darker, more sinister aspects of his nature (which he formally made a conscious effort to suppress, as best he could) to be expressed unchecked.

Whew.

To watch Barnes read this sentence off a giant piece of posterboard right behind the camera, check out the video (and I think you can catch the cameraman yawning at 0:25, right in the middle of the sentence):

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Barnes’ description of the novel as a whole:

MEMLOCH is a highly rhetorical, subversive, black humor, surrealistic, semi-linear, semi-narrative, anti-novel.

I’m anti-semi-confused (translation: I’m very confused).

If you’re interested in checking out Barnes’ work, you should probably go straight to his homepage at Infernal Books where you can PayPal him some cash because it doesn’t look like Kickstarter is going to work out for him. He has nine other books in planning in case he gets tired of working on Memloch.

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