Sunday, July 17, 2005

Corey Mesler talks to NCCAT about that little matter of dialogue

Writers meet in funny ways. I "met" Corey Mesler after he wrote a review of one of my books, and I wrote him a thank you note.

He is a fascinating character who does two huge and nigh-impossible things: he runs a well-known independent bookstore in this age of chains and internet sales; he writes novels and poetry.

I asked him to write something about dialogue for us.

--Corey, will you write something about dialogue for us?
--After all, you wrote a book entirely in dialogue.
--I don't know how to do this.
--Here it is, but I still don't know how to do this.

Thanks, Corey!

And here it really is--

* * * * * * * * * *

Talk about Talk

--Your novel did well.
--If you mean by doing well that it was published.
--Yes, but it got some nice reviews.
--It did, from friends.
--What else could you want?
--Nothing, nothing. I’m not ungrateful.
--It sure had a lot of sex in it.
--Are you working on a sequel?
--No, not really. Except in the sense that you are now in it.
--Meaning is drained of meaning. Though she feels as if she’s in a play she is anyway.
--More postmodern tricks.
--No tricks. Nothing up my dust jacket.
--More autobiographical libidinous reflection and refraction.
--I am not Jim.
--Right, and I am not the product of your self-referential imagination.

COREY MESLER once wrote a novel called : A Novel in Dialogue. It is entirely in dialogue. Some people liked it. Few people bought it. Nevertheless he still tries to limn the infinite, or at least take a potshot at the lengthy. He now has a 2nd novel due in December 2005, a hippie amalgam called We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon. He hopes the same nobodies who didn’t buy his first book will not line up to not buy his second. With his lovely and more centered wife he owns Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the oldest independent bookstores (1875) in the known universe.


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