Issue Seventeen contributor Donald Dunbar offers his thoughts on Fortunato Salazar’s “Kudos to the Parasitic Arthropods”:
First: The drip of subject from paragraph to paragraph.
Second: Unique Google-hit for “dsidfrok swuabny lofelyad.”
Second: The drip of “Wayne” from paragraph to section.
Third: “Wayne” is the first name of my landlord.
Third-point-one: I am writing this instead of writing him an overdue email.
Third-point-one: I genuinely like Wayne, and have never had a better landlord.
Third-point-a: “Fortunato” is the best name I’ve heard in a week.
Third: I really have a difficult time writing tension-building engines—in this story, the increasingly complicated shots for the swishes, the cold, the hunger, the fate and origin of the caribou—and I have a fetish for the fibonacci sequence-ish distortion of memory and misrememberance, or the slight and constant revision of daily routine, so this whole story is right up my alley.
First: The tension between delight and exhaustion.
Second: Stan really doesn’t want buddy to keep swishing. Stan is not a capitalist, because a capitalist would see that a man who’s always swishing is some kind of moneymaking machine.
Third: However much buddy paid for his cellphone, it’s not doing him any good.
There’s a particular kind of tint to the diction register, a vagueness that is not holding shit back for the mystery of it. It comes off as “cultural differences.”
Fortunato Salazar writes a lot, and publishes a lot. I’ve been reading his work for the past couple days, and there is this thing in much of it I’m trying to think about well enough to describe.
Fortunato’s structuring of his writing is pretty musical. There’s a rhythm, sometimes mounting, sometimes simmering, that builds my interest in his work, though not usually a rhythm in the verse sense of the word.
> kill author is especially concerned with voice—like they’re much more into who’s saying it than what exactly is being said. With regards to their anonymity, this is pretty interesting.
The voice Fortunato creates here depends not all that much on dialect and diction register, but depends a lot more on repetition and detail selection, and the pattern of thought.
I would like Stan to be thinking that what he would like to do, right now, is low bridge me.
When the phone rings, I say, Wayne residence. Every time it rings they ask for Wayne.
Samuel Beckett is for sure in Fortunato’s cabal.
Fortunato expresses less judgment via his speakers than Samuel does. When buddy in “Kudos to the Parasitic Arthropods” expresses desire for something to relieve a particular misery, we understand the misery to be caused by his habits and actions. Krapp and Estragon and Molloy and Murphy and all of them: their pointless actions are habits, and the misery is caused by being itself. In this way, Fortunato is a lot more
optimistic than Samuel.
First: A thing about Fortunato’s writing:
First: there’s an exactness and arbitrariness of numbering.
First: This extends into time as well.
For instance: I never should have slept in my jacket last night.
For instance: When he says “Wayne residence” when the phone rings, when does the phone ring?
First: But some of the speaker’s desires are rewarded.
For instance: I’m cold. I’m freezing. I would like to eat. I would like to go inside where caribou meat is simmering in a vat.
I keep taking steps back until technically I’m indoors, then I lob one underhand. Swish.
Second: This story is basically about the figures in Ikea furniture assembly instructions.
Second-etc.: They talk in smiley faces and frowny faces.
Second-etc.: I can’t remember if it’s them talking or them being annotated.
“Kudos to the Parasitic Arthropods” is pretty arthropodic, but in a biological way too.