69 thoughts on “Marvin K. Mooney

  1. what do you know?

    tell us what you know.

    marvin’s abjective piece was great.

    marvin’s whole “thing” is great.

    i’m going to be disappointed if he turns out to be human or like wearing shorts or something. or like a stupid shirt.

    1. Okay.

      Alec at HTML Giant wrote: “Am I the only one confused and a little discomfited by this thing? Who is Marvin K. Mooney? Let’s point fingers at people. I think it’s some creepy editor at Harper Perennial. Or maybe James Franco’s pseudonym.”

      To which I respond(ed) (and thusly retract my previously expressed annoyance (about this game that seems manipulative)): “If Marvin K. Mooney is James Franco’s ‘pseudonym,’ then maybe I (could be ‘persuaded’ to) care, after all.”

    2. i think i just really like the mystery or the weirdness of it?

      this reminds me–slightly–of when i first became interested in sam pink. i liked the writing, yes, but i also liked the idea of someone creating the character of a writer, a character always present in the words, behind the words, above them.

      marvin seems to me the next step in character/writer creation. but it’s just so weird i can’t even help but be interested.

      i seriously want to attend one of those chanting sessions.

        1. thanks. i’m aware this has been done before. what hasn’t?

          but the difference here is that this is the internet-age.

          “marvin” sent out emails, he left comments on dozens of blogs. he penetrated the online writer’s community in a very aggressive way.

          it’s not that different from the way most writers with blogs operate, just more transparent.

          the negative reactions from bloggers/writers seems surprising to me. in a way, i felt refreshed by the whole thing.

          1. i’m not coming down on it — i haven’t watched the videos or anything. i’m just saying i don’t see how it’s “the next step in writer/character creation” from what we’ve seen so far. i mention kierkegaard not because he used pseudonyms, but because he also used all the media available to him at the time to perpetuate the concept and even had them attack each other publicly.

            also, and i’m really not trying to be an asshole — the range of “buzz” so far has been much narrower than some of the suggestions here and at htmlgiant would make it seem. i mean, if non-litblogs were talking about it it might make me more curious. it seems to me we’re talking about the same few dozen people everywhere it’s been mentioned.

            1. David: I used the same word, “aggressive,” in my head when I first saw Marvin commenting on blogs. That aggression is representative of the sort of “networking” that annoys me in the online community; and I’m guilty of it myself, having linked to Blake a number of times when I was first starting out with my blog — though I was only annoying and never disingenuous about how highly I thought of his work.

              I dislike seeing comments when the comments have nothing to do with the post. Marvin’s comments were like, “Join us,” which is creepy. It’s the worst of what scares people about the Internet — unknown creepers creeping.

              Getting back to my point, though: I dislike seeing what I perceive to be a disingenuous infiltration into the writers’ blogosphere for reasons that have to do with only promoting oneself.

                1. But Darby, I mean, I know where your wife went to high school. That’s a real sort of thing. I feel that something like that connects us. So when I see a comment of yours somewhere, I think, Yeah, that’s Darby, whose wife and I went to the same high school. And usually I know your comments are yours because of your tone. That makes you real, too.

              1. all good points. all understandable. though i don’t really see this as disingenuous infiltration. i mean, it’s all pretty silly. but fun-silly. not really scary-silly.

                if anything it’s sort of made me take a step back and be like, “what kind of an internet person am i? how do i feel about this sort of aggressive networking?”

            2. christian – i don’t think you’re being an asshole, and i don’t anyone is claiming that this is a really big deal. i’m sorry i used hyperbole, “next-step” and whatever. strange fish in a small pond. i took notice and have questions, but really like the questioning more than wanting the answer–which i’m sure i’ll be disappointed with, somehow someway.

      1. I’m basically in agreement with this. Not sure what chanting sessions you’re refering to but I used to chant at Sivananda ashrams. Chanting rocks.

  2. …I was annoyed a little too when the bits and pieces started seeping out, then I learned the secrets, & now I am excited (which is still cryptic I realize, though I have been sworn to secrecy)…

  3. when i got an email about this a while back i was annoyed. i felt like it must be someone i’ve corresponded with at some point for them to have my email address. i have a hard time feeling like i should pay any attention.

    i work in a kids bookstore (for the moment), so i am interested at least in why they chose a dr. seuss character for the name. or maybe it all has to do with richard nixon?

    anyway, until i know who’s behind it i’m unlikely to pay much more attention.

      1. that, too, adam.

        i couldn’t help feeling like if the person knew me well enough to have my email (and granted someone doesn’t need to know me all that well to have it) that i deserved to know who they were.

        1. Hey! How cum I didn’t get an email? I guess I’m not cool…

          I wish this person or persons the greatest success. May they sell a million copies; may the writing be worth the hype. May it reinvent literature!

          I’ll probably check it out in five or ten years or so. I’m always at least that far behind.

            1. Oddly enough, despite all I’ve said, I wish Marvin well, too. And when I know who I’m dealing with, I will, as ever, do what I can to help. I just don’t like feeling manipulated. I prefer honesty and open dialogue from the outset, is all.

                1. haha, love you too! (is there a baby now?) and that’s interesting. forthcoming book. sure, fine, i guess. so it’s a publicity stunt. i don’t know. feels creepy, still, is all, until i know more.

  4. Coming late to the party no party hat gonna get rained on.

    M.K.M. commented on, criticized by some but still unknown still standing still coming soon typing hot flash I know you want it want to wait want to feel it like porn and be a part of it want to join the New Internet Writing Revolution. One join. Then two join. Then three. Little lizard getting bigger gonna blow gonna fire fire fire.

    Fuck death death death. Fuck fuck fuck fuck. Gonna type fuck, death. If death fucked a Coke then I’d drink it I would drink it, drown it, down it. Tie one on. However, death is not a Coke death’s just a fuck.

    A monkey of monkeys. Søren Kierkegaard tried it before. Gretrude Stein tied it, tried it, all of it before. Gertrude Joyce tried, Gertrude Beckett. Gertrude Gaudry tried it, Gertrude Butler tried it. Monkey of monkeys, jungle of monkeys. Cut down foliage, Agent Orange, the Agent is coming.

    Creepy monkey, creepy creeper, creepiest creeper yet Marvin K. Mooney, big king of gorillas, lizard gorilla, is going to try it, gonna keep creepin…

    Who responsible this? Marvin K. Mooney responsible this. No one else.

            1. This makes me think of that sad ass anecdote in the interview of the Facebook employee, where the interviewee talked about the Facebook user who’d “stole” the information and photos from 10 or so different profiles, and talked to “himself” via these fake accounts, the sort of loneliness something like that signifies.

  5. I came here hoping to see this exact conversation, and I wasn’t let down. I have to admit, I’m mostly ambivalent about the whole thing, but dig the conversation it’s creating.

    Molly, your points about it being “representative of the sort of “networking” that annoys me in the online community” is interesting, and of course, I felt the same guilt when first getting serious about .the idiom. last year. Though like you said, my actions weren’t disingenuous in any regard. I was elated to have found a community of writers and readers I respected, who got me back to loving sentences again, and was perhaps overzealous in trying to become a part of it all.

    I don’t have any real problem with Marvin; he’s been mostly easy for me to ignore, and I’ve at least dug his writing, even if not blown away by it.

    And, if it’s publicity, then okay. At least it’s interesting publicity; at least it’s spurred some discourse. I mean, people are discussing Kierkegaard. When is the last time a publicity stunt had people discussing Kierkegaard?

  6. So Marvin K Mooney is…Christopher Higgs? I guess?

    Well, that makes me more interested, since Chris, whom I know tangentially, seems like a good guy, and intelligent.

    This is a good example of how slick Hollywood sales tactics make me *less* interested in something, but how knowing something straightforward makes me *more* interested.

    It’s also an example of how stunts like this, while fun, are also fairly silly in the small press scene, and can backfire. Did anyone ever see this MKM stuff other than those who would already have bought and/or read Chris’s book?

    But I’m a cynic when it comes to anything hip. I’m so sick and tired of viral campaigns and clever ads that try to interest me with hype–that tease me with not knowing “what’s going on,” with the desire to be part of the in-crowd–that I generally shut them out. I’ve never been part of the in crowd, and have never really wanted to be. Campaigns like this aren’t really different than back in grade school, when your supposed friends would one day have a secret from you. (The secret was: they’d decided that day to bully you.)

    Back in grade school, I responded to bullies by saying whatever and going back to my reading. (OK, sometimes I cried a little.) But I learned to shut out hype and in-crowds in favor of things that I actually care about.

    Now that I know that this book is by someone whom I know, and whose work interests me, I’ll pay attention.

    Meanwhile, I’m curious as to how Chris reconciles the hype with his criticisms of hipsters. I suppose it’s…ironic?

    That all said, best of luck with the novel, Chris.

    Cheers,
    Adam

    1. I feel similarly, Adam. I like Chris. I haven’t read a ton of his work but what I have, I’ve enjoyed. I’m now more likely to pay attention to all the MKM stuff, though I would have liked to know from the beginning, I don’t think it would have kept there from being intrigue, and I would have been more excited, knowing it was project of a writer I enjoy.

      1. I just bought my copy. And I love Chris and BSC to death. I’m really, really happy the man behind the mystery turned out to be such an upstanding and goodhearted guy. Chris, too, for the record, took all of these comments in stride. He’s a keeper, y’all. This was fun, and I feel like it was fun to get swept up and duped by it all.

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