Languishing in Obsurity…

I read a recent chat interview with Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, Survivor, Choke and a handful of other novels (Fight Club and Choke have been made into movies). 

I admire Chuck Palahniuk for many reasons, but the main one is that he takes incredible risks in this stories.  This is the man who wrote Guts, which caused some people to vomit and\or pass-out when listening to it at a live reading by Chuck himself.  If the author’s goal is to make people feel something through something he\she wrote, then well done, Chuck.  He not only made them cry or laugh; he made them puke and pass out.  Amazing.

My admiration for The Chuck aside, the guy writes in a way that appeals to modern youth.  It even appeals to sub-modern aged youths that are sort of old, like me.

So it was interesting to read this comment  from Chuck on Reddit:

Chuck-PalahniukTimMitchell asked: It’s rare for a writer’s first book to be as successful as Fight Club was. Were you surprised by the success of the book? How did the success of Fight Club affect your life generally?

Chuck: Please let me address a misperception. ‘Fight Club’ was a huge failure. Most of the hardcovers were going to be pulped. They were unsold when the movie opened… and then the movie was a flop. It has taken years (decades) for the story to build an audience. What’s amazing is that it still resonates for young readers; it’s never become dated. (he shakes his head in disbelief)

Then comes a ton of ass-kissing comments.

Chuck: For further comfort, please read "And So It Goes," a biography about Kurt Vonnegut. It feels great to see how his first books were lackluster non-successes.

Well, as unbelievable as it sounds, Fight Club was not a big hit in the beginning.  I read it years before it was made into a movie, and it changed my perspective.  It was demonstrable that writing did not have to be polite.  It could get hostile and angry and up in your face, making you cringe.  If done well, it is grotesquely beautiful.

As for the book Chuck referenced, I have read some Kurt V., but I have never read And So It Goes, and it has now moved to the top of my list.

There is hope for us, out here on the fringe.  It’s sparse and possibly misplaced, but there is hope.  And hope makes shit happen.

Or not.  Maybe it just makes shit.

Still, you’ve got to put your work out there to know.  Is your MS molding in a drawer, waiting for… what?  You to grow a backbone?

It’s Go-Time, Brothers and Sisters.  Waiting ages things, and unless it’s a wine or Amazing Spiderman #1 in mint condition, that’s not good.





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