The sculptor Alberto Giacometti had a brother so devoted to his art, that the brother dedicated his life to helping Giacometti get his work out. The brother worked all hours of the day, he'd serve as a model, and mold plaster casts early in the morning, after Giacometti had worked all night. Eventually Giacometti married a woman who was similarly devoted to his art. She--like the brother--believed in it that much. She'd also model, and would stay up all night doing so, sleeping during the day.
I was thinking about this today. With few exceptions, my family and friends--I use the term "friends" loosely, as I don't have any friends--won't so much as read my books, even if I beg. My books are not punishment. They are all as enjoyable an experience--reading or otherwise, I should say--as one might have. They're not these boring literary books that feel like homework and you are being disciplined. They will open up worlds to you. Feelings. Emotions. Perspectives. They will impact your engagement with your yourself and the world. And they entertain to the point that they grip a person.
But for the most part, they will not read them. I receive no notes from someone saying, "I read such and such, loved it." There will be people I know for years who will act like I don't have any books. If ask them what is going on, they will ignore that. And then, as I have said, there are people I beg. I had someone I once called a best friend. I did this largely because I had no one else. To this person I dedicated two books. I remember when one of them came out, a book that takes less than four hours to read, and they just wouldn't read it. They knew that the other people I knew didn't read it, they knew that that hurt me. I begged. It was almost two years later--and this hurt me a lot as well--that they read it. I never should have done those dedications. In the future, when those books come out again when and where they will be seen properly, when I have gotten to where I am going, I'm taking off most of those dedications that I never should have put there in the first place.
The novel that's coming out soon will not be dedicated to anyone. Nor will there be blurbs. What you get is a comic masterpiece for the ages that takes a crucial and surprising look at what is happening in the world right now, an immensely connective book, which people are going to think, when they begin it, is a book that makes fun of a kind of person the world is passing by. And it does do that. But it also becomes something else. And goddamn is it funny. I'm not sure if it's more touching--sad, in some ways--or funny, but I know it's a book that can do so much and it is fool-proof recommendation if one has any semblance of a sense of humor--and an active human spirit--at all. That's what you'll get. You get the book now. Nothing else. If I'm doing this alone--and what I detailed above is pretty twisted by any measure--and with my art and nothing else, then so be it, that's how I'll do it.