Wednesday, October 6, 2010

EVENT: Tuesday, Oct 12th: Tao Lin

Tuesday, October 12th, 7pm
Brickbat Books

Tao Lin
will be reading from his new book
Richard Yates

"Tao Lin writes from moods that less radical writers would let pass—from laziness, from vacancy, from boredom. And it turns out that his report from these places is moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious."
—Miranda July

"Richard Yates is a moving, very funny, discomforting, and heartbreakingly life-affirming meditation on extremes—extreme alienation, extreme intimacy, extreme confusion, extreme expectations—that reads like a meticulously and lovingly crafted collaboration between a weirder Ernest Hemingway and a more philosophically-minded Jean Rhys."
—James Frey

"Richard Yates is hilarious, menacing, and hugely intelligent. Tao Lin is a Kafka for the iPhone generation. He has that most important gift: it’s impossible to imagine anyone else writing like he does and sounding authentic. Yet he has already spawned a huge school of Lin imitators. As precocious and prolific as he is, every book surpasses the last. Tao Lin may well be the most important writer under thirty working today."
—Clancy Martin


Discovered in a previously unexplored Missouri cave system in late 2008 by a team of “Sarcastically ‘Sincerely Bored-of-Life’” Hamsters who wanted to explore caves after hearing about it via their local NPR affiliate, the fourteen HTMLGIANT Hamsters (widely reported, at the time, and for the next five years, to be the last surviving HTMLGIANT Hamsters, despite the simultaneously widely-reported news-item that cave paintings digitally photographed near the discovery site conveyed in the pictorial equivalent of “a concrete, literal prose style” that an estimated 160,000 currently “roam the Earth’s undergrounds”), rapidly and successfully adapted, with the help of special goggles, from “not having the ability to detect wavelengths between 500 and 600 nanometers” to “complete immersion in an internet-based lifestyle,” gaining “mad hits” as early as the summer of 2009 for their literary blog which they banded together to create in early 2009, only three months after learning of “electricity.” Administrated by Gene Morgan and edited by Blake Butler, is visited, as of late 2019, by an average of 450,000 unique hamsters per day. In a 2013 group interview, in which all fifteen HTMLGIANT Hamsters (the fifteenth was discovered in late 2011 “at the precipice of death,” according to Jon Krakauer, in his non-fiction opus Into the Wild Hamster’s Lair:, “mad page views,” and the spectre of Gordon Lish, underneath a seat on an abandoned school bus, shivering and quietly weeping, in northern Alaska) appeared on Oprah, it was officially revealed that hundreds of thousands of HTMLGIANT Hamsters are extant in an elaborate cave system below where the initial fourteen (who had been sent on “a kind of expedition, similar, perhaps, to the above-ground hamsters’ fabulous NASA program”) were discovered. The next day received an astounding—“simply astounding,” said popular “blog/media mogul” Nick Denton—982,506,221 page views, forcing, to some degree, the New York Times to print the words “mad” and “hits” adjacently (amounting to their first use of the term “mad hits,” to many of their older writers’ horror/dismay) in size 116 font, above an article stating, in the second half of its lede, with an unnamed but ultimately unchallenged (except on “a few” “personal blogs”) source, that Oprah had made 26 anonymous comments in an 86-minute period—from 2:10 a.m. to 3:36 a.m.—directly, obliquely, and implicitly “shit-talking” James Frey and, oddly, Matt Damon, via “name-calling,” agenda-driven generalizations of [various cultures/subcultures], and non-sequitur praise of Toni Morrison, Eckhart Tolle, and Ben Affleck.

Average weight/height (record): 1.3 lbs/3.6” (1.9 lbs/3.9”)
Average life expectancy (record): 13.2 years (29.1 years)
Favorite book(s): Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine, books by Barry Hannah, Gary Lutz, George Saunders, Sam Lipsyte, Dennis Cooper, David Foster Wallace
Favorite band(s): Tom Waits, Of Montreal, Silver Jews
Favorite movie(s): Old Boy, Antichrist
Favorite sexual position: missionary

Hunting tips: Focusing only on those living in caves, as the fifteen currently aboveground are protected from chefs/poachers by various literary organizations, including AWP and PEN, approach the HTMLGIANT Hamster wearing a soundproof, full-body outfit ($899, Target), as, due to millennia of living in caves, the HTMLGIANT Hamster has, theoretically, developed an excellent sense of hearing. Wielding a flashlight that emits wavelengths only between 500 and 600 nanometers, the exact range of which the HTMLGIANT Hamster, it is hypothesized, cannot detect, further approach the HTMLGIANT Hamster, transferring it into a plastic baggie when you can—when you’re in range.

Cooking tips: Flay the HTMLGIANT Hamster in entirety and with a kind of intensity, stopping occasionally to remove contingencies of “bone matter” that fail to gelatinize, until you see before you a kind of paste. Insert the paste, which should be rubbery but still easily separable, into the centers of pre-prepared mounds of white flour. Fully enclose the paste before baking the resulting “meat bun” at 450 degrees for 6-9 minutes. “Makes for a delicious, hearty, charmingly atypical breakfast,” according to New York Magazine in a 2015 late-season issue devoted to “hypothetical meals,” as the fifteen HTMLGIANT Hamsters currently aboveground are protected from chefs/poachers by various literary organizations, including AWP and PEN. Though, as Poets & Writers (not unsavvy to the demand, mostly among “the indirectly ad-buying ultra-rich,” for “new kinds of meat, new species of meat”) reported in an issue concurrently in stores with the “hypothetical meals” New York Magazine issue: “As the fifteen HTMLGIANT Hamsters grow elderly, there comes the murmur, in the upper echelons of the culinary elite, of stomachs—perhaps not ‘growling,’ not quite, but definitely at least ‘purling,’ in curiosity, if not in hunger.”

- from “North American Hamsters,” a forthcoming iPhone app by Tao Lin

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