Finally, a novel with Internet access

Sometimes you just want to read a book with a plot. You know, the kind of people who meet each other, go to many places, fall in love, fight, fall out of love, even died—A good fairy tale. Jordan Castro’s new novel, boldly titled Novelist, definitely not a good old fashioned story. Even call Novelist a novel at all is a gag. “I opened my laptop,” the narrator says in the opening lines, and those first four words are the beginning, middle, and end of the story. The wink title is the right choice: Boy opening his laptop there is no ring quite similar to it.

Novelist takes place in a single morning, following an unnamed writer as he hangs out on social media while his girlfriend sleeps in their apartment; he occasionally digs through the novels being drafted in Google Docs. That’s it. The first 16 pages describe what the main character is looking at Twitter detail to the minute, thinking unnecessary thoughts like “My Twitter is horrible – Twitter in general is horrible.” To put it bluntly, a more unpleasant premise for a book is hard to imagine. However, here I am, recommending it. What’s so good about a novel with a plot so tasteless that it borders on overt hostility? Well, for starters, it’s funny — a rare and easily destroyed quality in contemporary literature.

It also contains some of the most accurate – and most accurate – descriptions of the Internet experience ever recorded in the novel. There is a tangent in Novelist where the narrator recalls a popular girl from his high school named Ashley. He looked at her on Facebook, clicking on her digital photos. Moving rapidly, almost frantic, as if trying to complete an urgent mission, I navigated back to Ashley’s profile and clicked on her header photo: a group of rich petite women yes and thick men, all white, wearing skirts and heels or wearing jackets and partially unbuttoned buttons, standing crammed together on one roof, a skyline I don’t recognize beyond after them. However, I did recognize some of the people in the picture. At least I think I did — as I hovered the pointer over their faces and bodies, names popped up that I couldn’t recognize,” thought the narrator, before daydreaming about the names. whom he may or may not know may or may not . “I was imagining arguing about racism with one of the thick men in the photo,” he continued, poring over Ashley’s social activism as an amateur killer. This passage, I suspect, will resonate with anyone who’s ever let an hour or two pass by playing detective in front of goofy Facebook acquaintances, and it establishes Castro as a chronicler. psychological accuracy of online life.

Courtesy of Soft Skull

The middle finger wiggles with anyone who can be confused Novelist to auto-fiction, Castro creates a monstrous version of himself for the narrator to haunt, a semi-literary celebrity turned internet scammer despite actually not saying anything what is morally objectionable. This fictional Jordan Castro writes a novel, then gets caught up in the gears of the online outrage cycle, giving the author an insight into how important so-called progressive media are. : “The narrator of one of Jordan Castro’s novels is an amateur bodybuilder, and the novel, due to be released in a culture that ’emphasizes toxic masculinity’, was received harshly by many, who described it as being ‘fascist’, ‘pro-conservative’, ‘obese’ or, oddly, ‘not what we need. now.’ Within weeks, reviews were written with titles like ‘We Read Jordan Castro’s Body Novel, So You Don’t Have To’ and ‘Jordan Castro’s Fitness Privilege’, which had little to do with the literary quality of the book. the book as with the effect it might have in reality, due to hidden meanings in some sentences. Like the description of social media wormholes, these acidic tangents on the state of online discourse are surprisingly accurate.

While the “internet” novels” now its own spin-off, it’s still rare to see these mundane experiences rendered online so realistically, with an eye on the unflattering, humiliating, and real. The best recently”internet novels“Patricia’s Lockwood’s No one talks about thiscaptures the sensibilities of an extremely online mind, but the disjointed style and playful, goofy language make for a striking portrait — no discussion of mistyped password or push delete Facebook after spending an afternoon with it. Novelist, on the contrary, is of normal quality, bloggy. Castro, a poet and former editor of New York Tyrant Magazineyes Loyalty is lit (he thanked Tao Lin in the affirmation), and excerpts from his protagonist’s actual story about a messy morning on social media won’t get lost. Thought List in, say, 2011. (Although it is now often associated with debunked personal essays, Thought List in its early years, was a regular publisher of passionate voices such as Tao Lin, Megan Boyle, and Castro himself.)

People often refer to strictly self-centered writing as “the stare,” but the flamboyant, defiant realism of the protagonist Castro is not quite so. If anything, “anal gazing” would be a more appropriate description, when the narrator is pooping, thinking about pooping, or emailing his friend about pooping for a friend. substantial portion of the novel. (Novelist must hold some record for the longest description of the toilet paper technique in a novel.) and browse Instagram — connection suggestions: In the end, it’s all the same.

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