The Unknown: The Orange Line.
  Date: Monday, 13 Jul 1998, 21:45:18
To: William Gillespie
Cc: Frank Marquardt
Subject: Re: Send me the tape of you reading Kenneth Starr vs. Intellectual Privacy


That tape I will send you—but first I want to digitize our conversation about the Unknown so that I can transcribe and yes even digitize snippets of it to include with the Hypertext as MPEG sound files. Which will be multimedia and therefore cool. A great conversation, btw, I’ve played it for many friends who thought it was funny. Frank needs to hear it. Need to share it with the world too. But in the mail I will put it so you can put my rainy narration before tens of listeners, but let me digitize it.

Hey Frank, we’re starting a press, did you hear? You’re now the #4 contributor to the Hypertext of the Unknown. Which makes you pretty damn important, in terms of Late 20th Century Electronic Literary movements. We’re going to make you famous along with us because we like you and you’re a good writer and you’re smart. Which means you need to fly out here the weekend of Sept 4 for the hypertext launch party. We’re going to invite Curt White and maybe even Krass-Mueller and William’s friends are all good cooks with good taste in imported beers and are probably even more socialist than those beatniks you hang with in the Mission District so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a good time. Get on the web and find a cheap airfare. If you fly to Chicago I will drive you to Champaign. You have a real job so you must have enough money to come see us and participate in our multimedia publishing events, even if you do live in the most expensive city in the world with a woman with whom you have good sex often. We’re starting a literary movement and we feel that you should be involved. You come out here, we’ll definitely make it out San Fran next summer during our tour and probably even this winter too to make a publicity-oriented scene at the MLA Conference. Meantime, we need Dublin, so that you can get on with your next assignment. Don’t worry too much about the Joycean parallels. That was just an idea. I see how it could be paralyzing, potentially, even for a writer of your caliber.

So I start temping Wednesday. At Amoco Corporate HQ. Me in big oil. Go figure. I might try to shut down the whole industry with a computer virus. Not really. I like gas as much as the next guy. Only 3 days a week. $11/hour. I’m broke, so I am becoming a prostitute for big oil. Oh well. We really need to get this book/hypertext thing going so that next summer we’re travelling across the summer in a big van rather than doing this type of shit. William writing speeches for football coaches, me doing secretarial work for big oil, Frank doing recruitment for Procter and Gamble. and Dirk . . . waitaminute . . . Dirk is travelling around the country right now, and the book isn’t even published yet, dammit. My ressentement is multiplying. He’s poor too, I know it. He must have a great line of Credit. But I love the guy anyway. Even if his quality of life is way better than ours. He’d better crank when he gets back. I guess he’s older than us, and he’s a poet, so I guess he deserves the lifestyle. Us, we gotta produce before we travel.



P.S. William—you will be here on the 24th, won’t you?

P.P.S. I think I’m going to go see Curt White read Thursday night at Barbara’s Bookstore in Chicago.

P.P.S. Frank, here’s the schedule of the Unknown, originally addressed to William:

How about this as a serious tentative schedule:

July 24-26—you n’me work on hypertext of the Unknown in Chicago

August 7-9—you n’me n’Dirk meet in Champaign to be unknown

August 14-16—you n’me (and hopefully Dirk) unknown again in Chicago

August 28-30—Cincinnati? maybe

By your birthday Sept 1—Unknown hypertext complete, put to bed, we get our own URL and cyberspace (this will cost us some money, but not much)

FRANK COMES TO SEE US IN ILLINOIS, help launch this best of all possible hypertexts, of which he was a vital contributor.

Sept 4— final edits to hypertext, late night

Sept 5— Launch Unknown hypertext w/ swank reading/party at your digs in Champaign.

Then intermittent meetings, independent editing,

before Oct 1—all texts in for Unknown anthology

Oct 1-16—I do layout of anthology,

Oct 16-18—We do final layout/edits in Chicago

Oct 19—Anthology delivered to Lightning Print, paid for etc.

Oct 28—my birthday, we have galleys of our book

Oct 31—Swank Unknown anthology launch/Halloween party in Chicago

Nov 1—edits to galleys if necessary


Dec—hypertext of the Unknown pressed on CD, given away to influentials, intellectuals, friends, bookstore owners, people we meet, in Chicago.

Jan—begin planning the actual tour


Feb—have Criticism of the Unknown put to bed, printed, by Dirks BDAY (I think its in Feb)

(meanwhile I’m finishing my novel, screenplay, and plays)

June—I get my Ph.D. We all quit our jobs, retire, become our real selves as famous writers, get an rv or a reliable car or harleys or a UHaul or something.

SUMMER 1999—the tour of the Unknown

So anyway, check your schedule, let me know if that works for you. Call Marla if there are any problems,


novel META
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a doc
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The Unknown at Spineless Books.