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ALMOST Vol. 1

ALMOST Vol. 1

Pitch

I’m writing you about a feverish and vivid faux-memoir called ALMOST (Vol. 1)—a Menippean satire narrated by a man who claims to have suffered a natal-brain injury that makes him hallucinate nonstop. In this first volume, he exaggerates his own birth and his mother’s encounter with a demented robber into a bouncy phantasmagoria of expressionist weirdnesses and dreamlike capriccios, in which most of the depicted events are both impossible and metaphorically true. Underneath runs the story of the original trauma, marbled with sincere emotion, flowing over a riverbed of close psychological observance—yet the surface is all gleefully mutating insanity full of laughter, fun, surprises, tricks and traps, burlesque absurdity and undead seriousness, the jigs and the jags of the jester’s journey, the vicissitudes of the vriter’s voice.

In part, I intended to parody, co-opt, and one-up the craze for autofiction—thus the narration is a lush forest of rococo lies planted in a prismatic version of my life, the narrator’s untruths always betray his truths, and the surreal stays a shortcut to the real. But mostly I wanted to draw on the exuberant freedom and creative joy of artists like Cartarescu, DFW, Moore, Woolf, Carter, Ocampo, Algren, Proust, Borges, Schulz, Lispector, Krasznahorkai, Pynchon, Jelinek, Gass, Gaddis, Gombrowicz, Joyce, Mayakovsky, Ginsberg, Nietzsche, Newsom, Liddiard, Piranesi, or Yuasa—so I designed ALMOST to be extravagant and fantastical and brash and confident and blissful and overflowing and vigorous and strong and sensuous and wry. I have tried to blow minds. You could call the technique mega-meta auto-sclerotic self-fictionation, maybe, or flamboyant bedroom orchestra, or apocalyptic caricature with berserk energy performing euphuistic flips in very high heels through mode after mode. You could call it hysterical surrealism or a dream about a systems novel of the self…

As for me, I’m a lower-class 34-year-old Canadian crank-turning autodidact, dumbly smart and smartly dumb. I do night shifts 24 hours a week at a hostel, write 35 hours at home, and read about 130 books a year. I live in a shabby-ornate kitchen in Berlin. I don’t go out much. All I’ve ever wanted is to write something unique, to create something complex and eruptive and self-possessed. After 18 years and millions of words, I think I may have succeeded with ALMOST. So far I have planned or partially written eight volumes of 30,000 words each, to be published either as standaloneish novellas with separate titles or packaged into duos or trios or quartets with a group name. The second volume should be done in a few months. Unlike everything else I’ve written, this book just waterfalls out of my head. Writing it has felt like reading.

Hoping to see from you,

Stefan White

Gift

Over the next few months, I will post the first 5 out of 10 chapters on my blog. If you want to read the whole volume, just send me an email and I’ll hook you up with a free copy. My email is my first and last name but with a doubled “w” @gmail.com