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Dumb Novel
Chris Page
Dumb Novel came out of nowhere and can probably go back there. I have no idea whether this story is any good, makes any sense, or whether it is even finished. Is it a syopsis of a longer story? It reads like one. Does it work as a short story on its own? Perhaps you can tell me.

Anyway, it is done — bar revisions. One of the great things about the internet is that you can publish things, and then change your mind about them, update or unpublishat a whim. Imagine putting something in a magazine, then chasing round after thousands of readers with a ball point pen changing a particular sentence as they read on the train, in a cafe, or on the toilet. You'd never get anything done.

Dumb Novel has a beginning, a middle and an end. These days when I'm running around like a rat in a wheel for my two regular jobs, it is amazing to me that I get any fiction done at all, let alone stuff that has beginnings, middles and ends.

Perhaps the sparseness of the story and the style are functions of the way it was written: in thirty minute chunks on the commuter train between my home in Nara and work in Osaka and occasionaly vice versa, though I'm not too good typing with a can of beer in my hand.

What is Dumb Novel about? It is about a man who likes to write dumb fiction, and for whom success comes unexpectedly and not his terms at all. He finds that he is being feted as something other than what he is or wants to be. How do you react to being a success at something you haven't made an effort for, while the world is indifferent to that which is important to you? If you have a job, any job, that you are good at, but which is no great source of peace or satisfaction to you, you will know what I mean.

What is work? Why does anyone value us? Why do they value us for things we do not care about and which are not part of our real being? What is success? Do we really need the approval and validation of other people?

Dunno. You tell me.

Dumb Novel is about 3, 500 words long.

Download .pdf version Read Dumb Novel online here

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