W: Right now we're drinking champagne in our nice hotel
room listening to a tape of Coover's keynote. He clearly likes us. There's
nothing like popping a champagne cork off an 8th floor balcony, provided
by the Marriott (with a fine view of downtown Atlanta) for our smoking
S: We're listening to Coover on tape. Coover's a great man. We just heard
his keynote at the banquet but his keynote bears relistening. And he wished
me a happy birthday. I like text, man, words are great. William and I
have had the opportunity to get to know more than one great American novelist,
but the whole bunch of them, a case of Dom Perignon, and Elvis in a '68
pink Cadillac don't hold a candle to Coover.
I wonder what Coover was thinking when he wrote a hypertext on punch
cards back in '68, or when he wrote a novel about a messiah figure amongst
town suffering from a mining disaster, or when he wrote a massive novel
about Nixon and the Rosenbergs, or what made him want to write Pinnochio
and Venice, or what drove him to write a book about the way movies
tell stories. Coover was the answer to the last question on the final
in my Intro to Grad Study class at ISU. Coover taught two of my writing
teachers. I've decided to buy Patchwork Girl and have a pretty deep level
of respect for Bobby Rabyd. I hope he gets tenure at Brown. Atlanta's
nice and the people at Georgia Tech have treated us real well, but Brown,
man, that's where we shoulda went to school. Ahhhhhhhh.
W: I am at this moment as happy as the caterpillar who climbs the flagpole.
Upon the eighth level of this modern and antiseptic building we lift our
champagne flutes to the stars and the powerful shafts of spotlights crisscrossing
the Atlanta sky. From this balcony, from this position of academic male
economic privilege, our clumsy pedestal, we listen to a Coover bootleg.
This champagne tastes like bad saliva. We are moths trapped under an overturned
jar. Fluttering at the light. In Atlanta.
According to Scott, Coover read The Unknown at Harvard.
S: Visited it there at Harvard, yep. We're bragging again. Let's
stop doing that. I notice that William has thrust us back into identities.
for more extended discussion of this issue, after a couple links. Some
things Coover said, paraphrased while listening to it:
I'M FAITHFULLY WED TO TEXT
READING IS THE MOST INTERACTIVE THING THAT WE AS HUMANS DO
WRITERS WON'T TAKE THAT (ERASURE TO PURE IMAGE AND VIDEO) LYING DOWN
So last night we got trashed with an interactive surfing movie producer
named Tim, an Aussie. He was a nice guy. We drank about .75 liters of
Maker's Mark in our hotel room. Tim fell into a lamp which shattered
on the floor. Then we went to Buckhead and drank pints in a bar while
guys played easy listening tunes in this bar and then danced in this
other bar. You ever seen William dance? It's pretty funny, a girl was
him. Then we took a cab back to our hotel. Tim fell out of the cab, first.
Then I tried to help him up. Tim's a strong guy, he's into soccer. My
shoes were new dress shoes, they didn't have much gription. I fell to
the pavement face first. That's how I started out my twenty-ninth year.
In the morning, I got berated by an internet visionary. In the evening,
Coover praised our work. This life, it's a yin yang kind of thing. So
W: Luckily, I managed to hold my liquor (some of it) and managed to orchestrate
getting us a cab and getting someone else to pay for it. Tim. He told
us about his budget for the conference. After that, we had him wrapped
around our little finger. I mean: we paid exorbitant amounts to get here
and stay here and read here, while Tim's budget included travel and lodging
and registration and there was, I think, 1000 (Australian) dollars left
What is that money for, I asked.
Making important business connections (he replied nonsensically) getting
I gave him our card:
And made him drive us to a neighborhood that was like
a cut-rate Mardi Gras and buy us pints of Bass.
Afterward, he remembered none of it, not even dancing.
What does it mean when you can't remember dancing?
What does that say about your dancing?
S: Well, I dance, William, I let the spirit move through me. Sure your
dancing moves ladies to have illicit acts with your leg, but mine is,
well, mine. Okay, you can move. When you dance, it's like the wind picking
up each individual willow leaf as it ripples down the plain. But I believe
we were praising Marjorie Luesebrink...
William and Scott talk to the Marriott Bartender 5: Pumpkins
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