The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

Proceedings of the International Congress on Exploratory Meta-Living
David J. Keffer
(link to main page of novel)


Notes on the Tetralogy

After the 2016 presidential election, some portions of the populace in the United States of America experienced a deep despair, for a significant fraction (although not a majority) of their fellow citizens had decided that electing an intemperate, authoritarian-prone racist and misogynist to lead the country was preferable to the status quo. Those dismayed by this turn of events expended much effort in lamentation as well as in faithfully documenting the behavior of the president-elect in order to accurately justify their denunciation of him. Still, there seems a better way to spend one's time than dwelling overly on the negative aspects of the present. Positive efforts can be put into creative work that, by its presence and persistence, refutes the tendency to despair and defies champions of injustice.

The author chose to engage in an exercise of positive creativity by writing a short passage every day, beginning on January 1, 2017. Each passage was serially published on the same day in the blog of the Poison Pie Publishing House. The specific outcome of the writing remained fluid, though it was generated through a nonidiomatic improvisational creative process.

The three hundred sixty-five passages generated during 2017 were collected as the novel, 2017, The Year of the Every-Day Magician, A Second-Hand Account of the Rise and Fall of the Renegades of the American Muslim Registry. As the subtitle indicates, this novel was explicitly concerned with themes of social justice. The novel follows two neighborhood boys, Oscar and Omar. Oscar is a member of a white working class family, whose fortunes are in decline. Omar is the son of first-generation immigrants, professionals from Iran. These two boys navigate a friendship in the social landscape reflecting in real-time the political events of 2017 and the social tensions created by the current president and his policies.

The generation and serial publication of passages continued in 2018. At the time of this writing (May, 2018), it appears that the three hundred sixty-five passages of 2018 will constitute the novel, Piecemeal: Proceedings of the International Congress on Exploratory Meta-Living. The novel follows a husband who wishes to compose a paean to his wife, in order to better convey his devotion. However, he finds himself inadequate to the task. He therefore joins The International Congress on Exploratory Meta-Living (ICEML). Once he rises to the executive governing committee of the ICEML, he convinces the five other board members that the creation of such a work on his behalf is a worthwhile exercise in meta-living. They undertake the task, which is characterized by two traits: each writes in a manner distinct from the others and none of them know the woman about whom they are writing, save through their exposure to her husband. Through this convoluted mechanism, the literary work, A Fractured Portrait of Iris comes into being.

If all goes according to plan (of course, there is no plan except to improvise), an additional passage will be generated every day for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019 and 2020 until this presidential term comes to a close. In the end four year-long novels, two of which are not yet imagined, will be created. The four novels will have no relation to one another, either in content or in structure. That each component of a tetralogy should differ from another is an aspect of nonidiomatic improvisation. Were they of a similar nature, they would succumb to their own idiom.

When finished, the tetralogy will be collectively titled, How I Survived the Presidency of Douchebag J. Troglodyte: A Daily Account.

Staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House
May 24-25, 2018

This work is made available to the public, free of charge and on an anonymous basis. However, copyright remains with the author. Reproduction and distribution without the publisher's consent is prohibited. Links to the work should be made to this page.