Sunflower Skins

June 16, 2010

Sketches, Experiment 7: A Typical Caulfield Conversation

Filed under: experiments, prose — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 4:22 pm


The opposite direction of the mummies, the left instead of right in the lobby, are the skeletons. You come into this massive circular room and there are these giant skeletons hanging from the ceiling. I guess when I was little I didn’t like to come in here a lot, like the birds or alligator bones scared me or some kind of crap like that, but I don’t remember that at all; I like them a lot, if you want to know, but that’s the kind of lousy stuff my parents would say if you asked about my childhood. Never anything normal, like how I’m doing well in school or that my birthday is coming up, but these really goddam personal things, I swear. It annoys me more than anything because it’s not true, like I said. Most kids like those kinds of things and get all gruesomely excited, while others turn peevish and whine over anything creepy, but I wasn’t one of the latter, for god’s sake.

I sometimes come here before going to see the mummies. Around the entire perimeter of the room are glass cases of smaller bones, animals like toads and snakes and fish. There’re a couple horses, an elephant. I’ve seen all of these and am not really interested in any of them right now. There’s this monkey skeleton on the other side of the big room, though, that always kills me. He’s on a branch, posed, leering at whoever looks in on him. The thing is, he looks like he’s laughing at you.

The only guy I know who’s crummy enough—cocky enough—to suppose himself among the likes of Salinger is Briton Self. Then I remember, suddenly, that he has and still does, most recently in his “statement regarding his new novel.” How could we live in a world phoney enough to presuppose itself every way, stealing from others and traversing, transgressing, transforming—making satirical, material, an empire for the senseless—? And sometimes—even currently—not even well! How could we call this art? A photograph of nature, of something somebody else already made—a block of plagiarized text, inverted from the original meaning? Shameless.

Send in your love/hate mail for Britain’s own leering monkey:

June 7, 2010

Briton Self Releases Statement Regarding his New Novel

Filed under: editorials, News — Tags: , — Sunflower Skins @ 2:19 pm

News from the front:

My agent has suggested—let’s face it, has politely yet firmly ordered me—to release a statement about my upcoming novel. It is in progress, but those in higher positions regard it a wise move to appease my fans—which is, I suppose, whomever is reading this—if you are. At the present time I am not interested in revealing the finer details of The Riot Act, but after some careful deliberation, I feel able to identify what it is and what it is not. Consider this a warning.

It is not about my misspent youth. It is not about the woman who left me (and returned) or the dog who became my loyal companion in the interim. It is not a bildungsroman or a mimetic-pragmatic solution to current world affairs or a reaction to the dying art of literature and the corporate up-rise of plot-driven, hollow-bodied, epiphany-less narratives.

It is not about complete truths or whole truths, or even half-truths—I can’t claim that much anymore, for age provides such perspective that, suddenly, I have several childhoods. And this is acceptable. This is ok. Must I confess more or will you leave me be, pounding angrily on a window, forehead wrinkled in anger and surprise?

Until further notice, I remain your faithful servant,

Briton Self

June 3, 2010

For more information, see Briton’s MySpace.

April 20, 2009

Briton Self Emerges on MySpace

Filed under: editorials, News — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 1:23 am

Briton Self, acclaimed author of Abbreviated Moments, announced today that he is writing a new novel. After four years of silence in the world of creative fiction, fans are excited at the prospect of fresh work from their beloved Brit; after publishing his breakthrough novel, followed over a decade later by the collected works Into the Mud, Self’s fiction appears only sporadically amidst a turn towards political writing. In his true low-key fashion, Self made the announcement on MySpace, of all places, simply by updating his status. If not for die-hard Self aficionados in the Sunflower Skins offices, the act could have gone unnoticed for months, as Self doesn’t have many friends on the popular social networking site. He created a profile at the suggestion of a former agent and rarely attends to it; considering that, the update was a pleasant surprise to many. Self has kept minimal contact with the press, preferring to voice his opinions in articles and essays, but paparazzi jumped at the opportunity to re-establish communication. One source suggests that the latest work is a retelling of the Icarus myth in modern day London, and while Self declines to comment any further, he doesn’t appear to deny the attention he has given mythological and philological subjects in recent years. Last October he contributed research for a new study of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, while the previous summer was spent amongst Aztec ruins, keeping a travel diary for Playboy UK. Blending myth with modernity is a technique well established and Self has successfully accomplished it in non-fiction. Though he seems to disdain publicity, fans must encourage Self’s new work, as it could be the classic this generation has been waiting for; he has shown eager promise before, and, we at Sunflower Skins feel, everything has been leading up to this.

Visit Briton’s MySpace here.

Penguin Classics Edition of Abbreviated Moments

Penguin Classics Edition of Abbreviated Moments

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