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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Monday January 12, 2004
12:23 AM

New Zealand or Tanganyika or Finland

[ #16768 ]
Dear Log,

Poppy Z. Brite's LiveJournal user data has a neat quote:

"Dispatches from Tanganyika" is a reference to one of the incomprehensible editorial letters John Kennedy Toole received when he was trying to sell Confederacy of Dunces (my favorite book of all time).

"[W]hen someone like yourself is living off from the center of cultural-business activities, with only a thin lifeline to that center, through vague and solitary contacts, everything gets disproportionate, difficult to analyze, to give the proper weight to.

It is like those odd people who turn up in New Zealand or Tanganyika or Finland, writing or painting masterpieces -- they have their own power, but they read or look as if the artist has had to discover the form for himself. They don’t have the assurance of worldliness and mutual interest and energy with others."

I'm not sure the editor realized New Orleans was, in fact, part of the United States. (I'm not sure New Orleans is, in fact, part of the United States.) Ever since I read this, the word "Tanganyika" has been linked in my mind with the attempt to write fiction about the New Orleans that really exists, rather than perpetuating the fantasy.

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