The contributors list at Big Other recently changed and I’m wondering what the new organizing logic is. Before, the list recorded the order in which contributors joined the site. Now it’s something else. At first glance I thought it was now in alphabetical order, but it isn’t. Perhaps it’s arbitrary? But the names seem grouped according to initial letter: A D Jameson, Amber Sparks. But even that doesn’t work, because the list starts and ends with A’s. And not all the J’s are together, and later on there’s a P, then an N, then two P’s. Next I thought that it might be in order of total page views, but then Greg Gerke’s name would be higher up. It’s also not in order of who’s made the most recent post, because it isn’t, and if so it would always be changing. And that would also be redundant, since the posts themselves establish that order. So I just don’t get the list’s logic; I’m hoping this post provokes discussion of this issue, though I’ll concede it isn’t important. But I don’t like things I don’t understand, though I’ll also concede that there’s no real reason why I should understand anything. I’ll also admit that I haven’t been posting much as of late. I’ve been busy with school, but also been trying to figure out what I should post here. Below you can see a photo that I posted; I’ve long thought that it might be cool for this site to have more visual art. I spent most of last year posting links to movies, so I thought I might spend this year posting photos. But Edward is kinda already covering that with his Bluets posts. So I’m left wondering what the new list’s logic is, and what I should post. Perhaps I’ll put up posts like this, metatextual musings on the subject of Big Other? Well, I’ll first wait and see if anyone responds to this post. Thank you for reading.
It’s my three-year anniversary at Big Other, and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I thought I’d repost this guide that I made a while back for the 266 articles that I’ve posted here. It’s organized by subject, with a minimum of cross-indexing. Also, I’ve bolded what I believe to be my best posts.
Thank you for reading!
The Quarterly Conversation has posted a roundtable on the great Harry Mathews, including essays by Dan Visel and Ed Park on The Conversions, Laird Hunt on My Life in CIA, John Beer on The New Tourism, Daniel Levin Becker on Selected Declarations of Dependence, and Jeremy M. Davies and myself on Cigarettes.
Exits Are is a series of text adventures conducted by Mike Meginnis published on Mondays and Wednesdays by Artifice Books and Uncanny Valley. So far, adventures from Blake Butler, Tim Dicks, and Matt Bell have gone up, and the list of forthcoming adventures keeps growing (but, at this point, includes Aubrey Hirsch, Nicolle Elizabeth, AD Jameson, Brian Oliu, Elisa Gabbert, and Robert Kloss). The site’s PLAY page has one of the better descriptions of the project I’ve come across: “Note that the games are designed to be occasionally very uncomfortable for both participants. If you’re not up for that, we probably shouldn’t play.”
I was intrigued by the form and the process, and asked Mike a few questions back in January (thus my boring talk of Zelda). He was kind enough to respond. Continue reading
A D: Much like how you hated The Tree of Life, Jeremy, I hated Bryan Singer’s two X-Men films. Hated them!
Jeremy: What, seriously? They made you physically ill?
Yes, seriously, ill. I would have gnawed my own arm off to escape, if it hadn’t meant forfeiting my malt balls.
Is Big Other a failure? Of course, in every way.
See the proof below from our own AD Jameson, who ever-so-mildly breaks the rules of this column (submit!: see this), by stating that he might return to his long-suffering project, detailed below. Even so, we may root for his continued and everlasting failure on this project, can’t we? It’s the least we can do in the esprit de corps that is this collaborative blog.
Nearly twelve years ago, at the end of the millennium, I started writing a book called “The Music Novel.” It was set in Seattle in two different time periods: 1993–4 and 1999, contrasting the heyday of the grunge movement (culminating with Kurt Cobain’s suicide) with the fin de siècle WTO protests. It was something of a statement, I suppose, on “The 1990s,” though I was much more interested in formalist experimentation: the rift in time afforded a chance to contrast different versions of the same characters. I even toyed with some silly idea of presenting the earlier time at the tops of each page, the latter period at the bottoms, with a page tear separating them. (I was playing a lot in those days with photocopiers, and had a fondness for torn and overlapped pages.)
For the next five years, I made copious notes—hundreds and hundreds of pages of plot details, character descriptions, period research, complex thematic structures. The project swelled to encompass topics as disparate as Chinese dragons, the Book of Revelations, shrinking penis disorder, and the lost kingdom of Lemuria. (It’s OK to laugh. I laugh about it now, too.) But despite my feverish note-making, what I didn’t do is any actual writing. “The Music Novel” became a book that I instead thought about in cafes, for hours on end (an imaginary novel).