Alex Cameron Forced Witness

[Secretly Canadian; 2017]

Styles: “I understand songs to be short stories.”
Others: the life of Bunny Munro, Hemingway as male impersonator, competitive yacht rock

[in which the listener bears Forced Witness to the accelerating Descent of Man in the internet age]

[in resemblance to this Witness and in regard to its lineage, we survey stories of the personae of postmodern masculinity:]

 

It’s a rainy afternoon in 1990
The big city, geez, it’s been 20 years
Candy, you were so fine
Down on the street
Those men are all the same…

– Iggy Pop, “Candy” (1990)

 

“…in her case it was like she was pre-tested — the kid didn’t blow her body out, so I knew she’d be a good bet to sign on and have kids with and still try to have sex. Does that sound shallow? Tell me what you think. Or does the real truth about this kind of thing always sound shallow, you know, everybody’s real reasons? What do you think? How does it sound?”
– David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999)

 

“‘Sometimes I worry about my attitude to women,’ Gábor says… ‘D’you worry about that?’

Balázs has just bitten into his chicken fillet burger and cannot immediately answer. When he has swallowed what is in his mouth, he says, ‘What d’you mean?’

‘Just my attitude to women,’ Gábor says miserably. ‘Maybe it isn’t healthy.’ He turns to Balázs, still wet in the passenger seat, and says, ‘What do you think?’

Balázs just stares at him.

‘What would you do in my positon?’ Gábor asks.”
– David Szalay, All That Man Is (2016)

 

“What I wish to convey in this collection is, in a word, isolation, and what it means emotionally. ‘Men Without Women’ is a concrete example of that. The title grabbed me first (of course, Hemingway’s short-story collection of the same title figured in), and the stories followed. Each story came from the vibrations produced by the title. Why ‘Men Without Women’? I don’t know. Somehow or other, that title put down roots in my mind, in the same way that a wind-blown seed settles and grows in some field.”
Haruki Murakami

 

[…and take as colophon, Alex Cameron himself:]

 

“There ain’t no politics in love.”

 

[Or is there?]

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