A letter from Fleming to the IC with an updated file of the new book, Become Your Own (Super) Hero: Modern Fiction in Twenty Easy Steps (Stories).
Changed to include "The Wad."
Dan, I was thinking about our conversation deep into the night. You're not going to see a single review for Brackets. I just know it. I know where this stands. I think it's hard sometimes for people to see what I know, what I live. (I remember a couple years ago when I didn't get the Guggenheim, you said, "I just don't get it"; that went right through me; not that you did anything wrong, of course, but I also knew you still clung to some notion that this was not exactly what I said and knew it to be; it's a hard thing to accept; I think it took Norberg a lot of years to get there; but it's real; as unlikely as it is, it's real.) But this blackballing is total. It's not just blackballing going in. A certain kind of person gets involved in this industry. And they are almost always mentally ill. They take one look at who I am, and it's hate and envy. That's the nature of the person in publishing. There will be no coverage of Brackets. No Kirkus, no PW. Unless it's a hatchet job because of 1. Who I am and 2. I don't write the piffle-wank that everyone else does. Again, as I said yesterday, I hope I'm wrong. We can make a gentleman's bet. But I don't think there will be a single good faith review of that book in the entire world. Not now. I'm going to have to get where I'm going for that to happen. Where I am going is a place no other writer has ever been. It's when I have that recognition and that platform that the torrents of praise will be in overwhelming evidence. But not before then.
Anyway. That's not why I'm writing you lot. I've reread "Eyejaculator" like six times since yesterday. Do you know how awesome that story is? How come not one of you, save Mr. Pratt, said a word about it? I get the whole taken for granted thing. Oh, another work of genius. Ho hum. But let's not fall into that trap, yeah? I have enough of that. I am creating all of this and receiving maybe twenty words back in six months. I know that some of you comment on some of it and that is all that time permits, and I appreciate the input. AC, Pratt. But as I read "Eyejaculator," I was like, "what the hell, you'd think I was sending out black Word docs. This is bloody amazing." I get that already non-stop from publishing people who want me dead. Man that story is incredible. Do you see the life it crackles with? And so funny. So spot on with these times.
There are venues--The Baffler--where "Eyejaculator" is like their "poster story"--you know what I mean by that--but the animus towards me is so great that people are like, "nope, never with that guy." That's the bottom line. Feelings. Not, "what have we here in this work?"
"I came where I had to come."
Ha. Come on. That's awesome. I love "Eyejaculator." That's one of my all-time favorites. There is no one who has ever lived who could write a story like that. Look at everything in it, for God's sake.
Comments help. Over time. They can give me reason to revisit a story I've forgotten because all I do is move forward. That can change my approach with these bigots and on the blog. I can act with more confidence in doing things that are very, very, very hard to do.
I'll tell you another piece of the pie: You have work that is so much smarter than all of the other work out there. Look at the intellectual cachet of "Eyejaculator." The sheer range of knowledge. Of film, sports, music, etc. Before we get into the life stuff. These frauds know nothing. There is no subject they know anything about. And I just casually drop it all in. That's the other thing--it's conversational, not exclusionary, open. A huge piece of the pie. I know all of the "intellectual" stuff and then I make it real, relatable, gettable, every bit as much as some stupid Netflix show a pigeon could watch. Trust me, these frauds hate that. They hate that kind of realness. It's the opposite of pretentious, from the person who knows all of the fancy intellectual stuff they wish they knew. That's a deadly combo for me with them.
Lastly, the first Stossel blog is written. I don't want to put it up. But if I have no choice, I have no choice. I'm not going to sit back and have these people end my life. I'm not going to take it in silence. I've given him and them three years to fix this, address it. That letter from a couple weeks ago? Not a word in response from anyone there. It's not possible for anyone to honestly believe this is happening because of my work. Anywhere. It's discrimination. And you know the Stossel story. The blog is the only recourse I have right now. I cannot be complicit in my own destruction with silence. That's what they want and are counting on. I have to be brave.