You are on page 1of 17


MARCH 2008

4 Inside the Box by Marina Tempelsman
Workbox’s strangest calls of all time
6 Meeting Mailer by Josh Cohen
The ultimate self-created legend at the twilight of his career
11 The Concertmaster by Nathan Wainstein
A conversation with Philadelphia playwright Michael Hollinger
14 Science of the Surreal by Eli Epstein-Deutsch
A museum that is truly out there
18 Animal Souls by Brendan Work
Excerpts from the short story
21 Dance Revolution by Louis Jargow
A new breed of Indie music
24 The Lost Rebellion by Eli Epstein-Deutsch
Revisiting an avant-garde classic of postwar French cinema
28 Boy vs. God by Fletcher Wortmann
Where were all the dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden?

Art and Poetry
5 Study #1 by Nathan Wainstein
10 Modern Synapses by Alice Xiang
17 “Trawling” by Nicole Singer
20 Study #2 by Nathan Wainstein
25 Action in Action by Robin Lipp
32 Back Page by Jonathan Stafstrom

Julie Kumar is a painter and sculptor. She lives in Boston.

M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 1

or aura. a provocative rendering of the Café For writers. can lead to its own kind of complacency. pieces will become part of an ongoing di- Nuit).. in Van Gogh's time. We are proud is. cover designs. mysticism and claustrophobic desperate screed or potentially inspired criticisms one might level at the politics sations happen. or possibly to leap real escapist hallucination. cian. etc. As And so from any distance. lost in the age of Starbucks and may be the real heir to the 19th century persistent glare of urban anonymity can ebusiness. places are where the indigent and bereft email or come to our meetings. writers will inevitably see themselves doom for the romance of the cafe. artistic. the café. and the meaning of literary his newly completed master. the role of a fa- V an Gogh was writing here of paranoia that comes from being in a well. as important as it is. absurd to wax too apocalyptic about the To sum up. Submissions of essays. looking critically at our relation to it. instance. way ahead for lack of space. will. It should be recognized that Dunkin' The idea of an outward-looking maga. depictions. both inside and outside the pages de la Gare in Paris. Paul Gauguin's as writers. Cosi. a slightly later portrayal of the role in the scene. FROM T H E E DI TOR they are the clearest manifestation we plation. a-bit-spici- t the only thing to do is to hunker down in for a fact that the café has no wireless in. the riously typing away is a writerly type. distinctive stream. send us an become its own kind of addictive delir. reviews. re. pecially those who work in 2-dimension- paranoia—all jostle within the café. I would argue—at of. well. We are in so many ways a main. In immediate terms. can see from Van Gogh and Gauguin's cafés may still be the most conducive to itself as "quirky. Thursdays at 4:30 in Kohlberg. sketch art. and hard-boiled realism I think. is always a place on But Dunkin' Donuts has that gritty numi. this conceit is a bit ridiculous. hand. and away. whimsy. Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts the madness. mous writer. which can at least a point in their life or their night when quick-fingered friends (unless you know be counted on for predictable. or economics of these chains. It should also happen partly outside of "social criti- Dunkin' Donuts can be a blank. i." We maintain a quaint. and social complexities of ear. lit place with seated strangers who also contradictory. (Obvi. 2 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 3 . which bills nature of hero worship. I am paint. I hope that this magazine might help to round sphere of our notorious "academic rigor." which. And for the creative or even religious impulse. in a letter to his brother Theo a mushy background of spoon-fed cul. nor an entrepreneur or food service techni. personal—will help to achieve –Vincent Van Gogh. Starbucks offers a homogenized. of corporatization of American coffee ven. a café is a place a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. the inside of a of Swarthmore students. lack of sleep. the writer is probably no longer each has its own distinct personality and smokier. bleached. That is what we may go to get out of the darkness. mentary vision. Now. My idea multifaceted way with the world beyond you'll get involved. or whatever you want to call it. This one is much cooler. so I settled for a magazine.e. alogue. but Gogh." My itly dissect social relations) which can By Eli Epstein-Deutsch here-and-now. more of "Culture that just happens to be mensions even while talking often about tive or spiritual flights can be projected at available at Swat. or at script." aesthetics. the maker of ballistic missiles." café as a place where contradictions come which the writers are probably some of ues. going down. well… unlike in Van Gogh's time. comple. cism. The image is obviously part of it: in a not spelled wholesale. particular significance. Mostly. Today. but rather function that fits. a café that is open late ficult to tell whether a café-dweller fu. nosity that is the atmospheric essence of ly committed to squarely facing social The Night Café. Buck's County Coffee Co. I hope that this and other piece. being seen and enacting their have they avoided the psychological. and we are designed like an arbo. Religiosity and squalid realism. provokes questions about the creative thought. With violent. reality. this aim. establishment school. as Swarthmore may seem like a bit of a in all forms—literary. The idea of the café is still evocative. The café. Van material is unearthed through endless For similar reasons. poetry. filled with urban squalor. But to bemoan the end of an "night cafés. The Night Café (La Café de stumbled in from the night. We are evident. welcome. the kind that is open 24 hours— t but an excess of coffee. like no artist before or probably conversation. funky. ry of the café as he painted it at his coun. then. offers another. the fact that they are almost all a shame that Swarthmore doesn't have a somebody recently told me. It is a place where which to project one's ideals and fears. Towards the end of my place has with the concept. science and math too. The idea here is that publishing stu- Donuts owes this specific charm partly to zine at such an inwardly focused place dent encounters with the outside world “I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity in red and green. for lier cafés. Dunkin' Donuts. The cynical view is that the signifi. I think it is of our pacifist Quaker heritage. or the aes. so long as it is well-crafted. commit a crime. not only inherent in the idea of a café." as Van Gogh put it. Local. most cafés don't serve genuine absinthe. where opposing sensibilities the strangest. or where material is pro. for better or ill. fiction. deepen. terrible passions. instance. or else to feverishly scribble some come on. but fill the place where dreams are supposed I don't fault us these contradictions: I just enthusiastic about working with as pose and insanity. or at least enliven this amor. are perched on the edge of a major city. more contemplative—rife with scribbling a novel in longhand. as ously. managed to animate the urban vided by the café's strange denizens. those who have reached or merely chatting on Gmail to several slightly elite) culture. era is to miss the point: a café is and al. could benefit from engaging in a more Thanks for checking us out. society and (sub)urban con. Endless conversation is mensional swaths of fractured color. go mad. which The Night Café (the painting) definitely is. scientific. undifferentiated an actual night café. Issue #1's "Meeting Mailer. for the second issue. three-di. to quietly make their bids for legitimacy as well. plays and science writing are can be a refuge for the down and out." These Dunkin' Donuts are To pitch article ideas or learn more about the magazine. is still there. least the kind on strips or in city down. It's all identical location. fortable ambience invariably comes with contradiction. think it actually speaks to a kinship this many creative people here as possible (es- escapism.. thought is that this may begin with a bit sometimes ignore important creative di- raphy or history—onto which imagina. social awareness and think. Ultimately. contem. packaged gloss on slightly alternative (i. they have freshman year I thought about starting thetic.” its contrast with Starbucks. the café has always had a especially from afar. contradictions—that seems to be its hall. should happen partly outside the FROM THE EDITOR have of the sort of café where one "can ruin oneself. café. even as we aspirations." for ture that always feels like it is inhibiting mark. café that is open after midnight. it is quite dif. On the other Send them to thenightcafe@gmail. out. cance. as well the peculiar ways was ambiguous. is to make it something of a sanctuary for "the bubble" (as so many of us call it).e. maybe it is The loftier ambitions I have for this to a head. and majors. time when a low-level delirium starts to Martin. of the night café has bled towns. Not just humanities Night Café. especially at night." (using theoretical terms to explic- out background—a pure. This. I just think it means we publication. photography. yet equally compelling whiling away hours in conversation and small town "community" feel. Something more is needed. of al media) to improve the quality of the least within Van Gogh's notional memo. cartoons. even if they know that symbolic. Word document on their MacBook Pro. The sanctuary. in the words of Professor Phillip Wein- after him. opposed to nature or books. but I'm not much of The Night Café. undistinguished by geog. into the melancholy and alienation but marked planning out a first draft in a Microsoft constantly developing interplay between also by a sense of inner whimsy. to be realized. and (as by April 10th to be considered a corner and wait things out with a cup ternet). debate—both integral to the café spirit. ium. "the romance of our times. sciousness. it is somewhat The Night Café. who are we kidding?) Whatever to be and when most really good conver. whose com. and I hope tryside retreat in Arles. But Swarthmore is full of analytic. fluorescent-lit phous thing we call "Swat Culture. epic poetry. er-than-bland pleasantness. truly strung out. into the old news here) we invest in Lockheed magazine may take any number of issues clash like strokes of lurid red and green writer goes to be alone among people.

500 to re- E very day Carolyn Vance. “It went through the Workbox had its work cut out for them. plained. commune with nature by moving to the the roof of Parrish to remove the clothes. them.” Bill Maguire said. he was con- by a handful of administrators and the ployees took the prank extremely well. minated. Workbox receives the ment that restored the furniture to its I. (As a ref- with a toolbox. The students working in the kitchen but when a handful of students tried to of the prank: when Workbox climbed to Parrish students mysteriously found “It’s comic relief during the day. com. But when students put Is a scent reclaimed. time. Vance re.” he said. dack chairs out after April by Marina Tempelsman mains. The two students brought their bed. Workbox deals with Workbox busy throughout the year. In general. that’s why they But the golden standard started putting the Adiron- for all April Fools pranks re. Amidst the routine check. you’d have seen it on Parrish Beach and placed them the national news. brimming. over the course of the prank. said as routine as Swarthmore allows—and. so at least it wasn’t Vance. If only the same Crum Creek. in the trees around McCabe. kitchen. receives dozens of Workbox to clean the mess. “We were in no danger at any pair damaged tiles.” ran around Mephistos leaving behind it employee. When the Workbox crew arrived Yes.” Thayer themselves. Cockroaches to be exter. “We love our job. students padlocked the door behind tire weekend. they the top of Sharples typically managed to do this in a very cost the college $1. BEH I N D T H E SCE N E S / POET RY BEHI ND T HE SCENES prank was fairly inconspicuous. this headache of a 4 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 5 . Workbox is typically responsible are leaks and then there are leaks. April Fools Day. The deer “That’s eighty pounds a yard. tergent in the machine instead of washing Crum.” one employee es. and they set up camp along the we all know. Of course. a trail of glass and blood before it man. “It leaked plate glass” said Bill Maguire. This for returning everything to normal. small time frame: “between nine and ten. The swish of dark hair outside.) But Carolyn Vance box Coordinator of Facilities Ser. Workbox is responsible for exter. nightbirds. Workbox has seen stranger happen. After Swarth- In the cup on the table. Workbox was responsible surprises.” After all. “We were locked up on the roof. stuck on a bulldozer. Willets—literally. cerned about the safety of the students Workbox crew responsible for removing “It was in the spirit of good play. But as more students create chaos on cam- Workbox can certainly tell you. What’s more. aged to free itself by the time Workbox Unfortunately. “Heating machine detergent. in rightful place. bro. of ocean robes probably at about a bathtub-full a min.” But. ken bulbs and leaking ceilings. Grandfather. room furniture along with them. ceived a call about a flood in the Paces arrived. explains. Two years ago. resulting in the sea of again. their prank. Workbox takes the quirks of their job toilets. Workbox had to interfere once line. STUDY #1 minor technical repairs. they found a bizarre minating or removing animals when they timated. While Thayer never felt endangered INSIDE track prank could only be appreciated Thayer and the other Workbox em. On a bed of leafy grass was made all too clear by the flood in Sometimes students are merely shoot- Curtainfolds for a canopy. Vance ex- the words of one anonymous Work.”) Of pasture-white and apple-gold ers to come up with. themselves without hot water for the en. “It was brought outside and Beyond—the rushing night. Slightly less discreet was the Ralph’s concern. thirty in the morning. massive repair jobs. tercepted by a hallway sprinkler. And the sight alone wasn’t the end the prank scott-free: after the incident. they mess with facilities. “For a while. says Thayer with a laugh.” line students somehow strung These quirky phone up between the top of Clothier calls can bring with them As the Swarthmore maintenance staff can tell you. course.” says Vance.) hard work that went into the railroad to call in for help. an unmitigated disaster. “You don’t “Everyone here loves working here. dorms. “There was THE BOX occasion where students lifted stuff where if [the students] the Adirondack chairs from slipped. Parrish a few years ago when a game ing for a simple acknowledgement of The sparkling noise of the clock of football on the third floor was in. sight: Paces covered in three feet of soap try to commune with the student body. Leaks to be repaired. there pus.” season” brings in twice the usual number foam for Workbox to deal with. Workbox pride and the other Workbox employees enjoy vices.” said one High deep windowpanes all the way to the basement. “One of the really good requests to dispatch amongst its twenty. the dark. “We’re of phone calls. Fools.” (Although.” ings than that. not all problems can be fixed and the top of Parrish. The had their radios with them and were able very nice normally. of Reading lamps like hot liquid be replaced. with grace. When the students were POETRY munity comes with its fair share of found out. as ed from this mishap. The thirty feet of railroad track in the Ad- sprinkler “started shooting water out. for contacting the moving depart- ups and fix-ups. Usually. could be said of the deer that broke into missions Office about fifteen years ago. Watches from the wall the lawn-slope. of course. explained Vance. suds. four person maintenance staff.” these complaints revolve around clogged that night had put hand dish-washing de. “dorm furniture has to stay in Here is the dewy patching box employee. ones comes once a month. But life at Workbox is only The dirty Paces floor probably benefit. Work.” Swarthmore students keep Garlands for the crickets.” one employee estimated. PARRISH PARLOR occasional gem of a phone call that. Another employee shared it. Lightbulbs to but primetime for student antics is. By Nathan Wainstein She walks softly. plete with two hundred feet erence: nighttime strolls on of panties. “you couldn’t pay writ. wouldn’t let the students get away with the absurdity. arguably. the quirky Swarthmore com. overzealous air conditioners. (Apparently. A look at Workbox’s strangest calls of all time.” says Vance. the clothes. ute.

We know: writers. The eyes. Mailer’s best friend and biographer. He started it when he invited two mid- tly grabbing the waitress’s arm on our way in and whispering dle-aged blonde women who were sitting at a table ad- In which the young writer encounters the ultimate self-created legend at the twilight of his career. it was a rush. or experience. in adjectival form1. sun. he drank. the word “cunt. L twice Mailer had responded. drinks blue label like it were Nefertiti’s breast was eighty-three when I faced him. then. It was hard to shake the sense of being part of some writer’s was serving as a name for Montgomery County Community tradition. When you swallowed. should be expected of Mailer. The scriptedness of our meeting is what enabled what else would you have with Norman Mailer? Invert Hegel: him to deliver 100%. dur- hands holding the edges of a leather chair. his lower lip trembled. And when. he made because you were being made a partner in the realization of a a sick geriatric clicking. and when it sat. Montgomery Country Community ing. 1 He explained that his second wife. of the rumor. and close-up contract drawn up in an imaginary realm. EETING NORMAN MAILER was exactly what you would Mailer had been—and would be—having us. then. Q & A with ward like a little boy. the E —NORMAN MAILER. it was thrilling. whose jowls touched his shoulders and who. BOB LUCID2. for the most part. The readily The whiskey he chose was cruel. Mailer explained. He more watery than blue but. I mean: there he sat. still. 2 The U. Mailer was obsessed with Satan to drink—before that. E S SAY ESSAY in her ear—it didn’t seem like it had been anyone’s idea but Q: Do you know what you’re going to write about before you Mailer’s. in that sinking sublime way. re- Norman Mailer (condensed and cherry-picked) demptive sense of the uncanny. you could tell: only the eyes weren’t dying. still. Once he became the MEETING A: No. Adele Morales. That is. being the source hot trail down your stomach lining. the hurt gave way to this welcome. ADAM HASLETT ’92. make that three more—the same! As in. he apologized—with the most sincerity I saw that ing from a routine fine-tuned by some sixty years of meeting night—for taking his with ice. by the third round. the Inn for a dinner held for Mailer. But when we sat down IKE MOST godly men. on a feigned second MAILER thought. the extraordinary was ordinary. had folded our hands A: Gin. together. By Josh Cohen banal evil of the word “cunt. arms up. though. conversation started. milk. Twice during role in the historical concatenation. who er. the system erased any memory of a system prior. to this one. leonine as hell. who. Mailer was preternaturally keen to every hope I you felt stronger. We had been sitting. we’ll see. First. But then. This was a whiskey you never had—but then. was being a “cunty automaton” at the party during which Mailer would stab her with a penknife. and it was easier (Or. since Adam really seemed AND ME—sat at a small table next to the bar in the to regard Mailer as no one—were so much Mailer’s that all that Blue Bell Inn and had a nightcap. along with Adam. what else would you have with Norman Mailer? And yet. It was wound- November 2. The whiskey was good for fifteen minutes of silence. and his minions. he decided to include us in his drink. Penn professor. irrefutably twinkling—and swiveled his small. we—more me. or does it just come to you? Mailer had a way of taking control. when Mailer suddenly yelled across the room: Julie. had for him. a way that could only be described as taking stock. despite the heavy eyelids near covering his pupils. must have been work. people whose expectations were formed. for example. the writer. My expec. by and then the drink vibrated your buccal nerve before you even facts about Mailer that came from Mailer himself.” and he did. Mail- ness. or al- Q: How do you choose the names of your characters? ternate. start. No human being has ever so fulfilled my expectations—for example. that one ought to tations. like really we’d just been sitting M with Marcel Marceau and it had taken him this long to mime. finally. whiskey—but we don’t consider specifics. and who died two days later. distinguished head on its flesh mantle in whatever he said. too. This was a whiskey you never had—but then. since Mailer ordered by gen. only had eyes for Norman. eyes ing which Mailer sucked in and stored the room’s souls. After all. Q: What do you think of our president? A: Shit. 2006. you drank. I expected him to use to believe you wanted this of the man than to let the symbolic violence of Mailer’s cruelty really register. the Evil of Banality) imagine. as Mailer grinned and stretched his arms up- College’s 11th Annual Writers’ Club Conference. dinner Adam had asked Mailer if he was game for a drink. actually. W were all the man needed. We had been in unfolded thereafter seemed to emanate right from his chest. 6 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 7 .” so effective in its barroom base. were not only exactly what you’d imagine—they hold her for a while). even if mine was a fundamentally interchangeable College’s 11th Annual Writer’s Club Conference. swallowed (which meant. the drink left a were exactly what he had imagined. Then.

In retrospect. is narrating: only kill God once. Their be. etc. who finds that he owns words he And with it—the potatoes!” Off he would go on a peroration. ness with which Mailer’s beckoning was obeyed. a man whose immortality was ing there wasn’t enough. continue him. Like this: Mailer stood up. “I’m weary of that now. closing his eyes as if looking for tapping into the twentieth century’s most famous marriage: sake of Mailer’s myth. encouraged—but Mailer. since I was the the warning—the platitude—whatever those words were. the women responded unpublished novel. Or nihilism. But at the time I felt as if I were sick. when the women a revelation snuck up on me: his performance was falling flat.” 4 This is the other way to use Hitler. which were simultaneously misogynistic and adolescent and deeply traditional and moral—surprising. slowly. which is dog Latin for “reduction to Hitler LTIMATELY. Mailer fed me back answers that didn’t have questions—or rather. per precedent. After drinks. By then. Mailer meant to vilify young women that stand on could so much better—indeed. Whether I had unconsciously offered him revenge they made divorce impossible to obtain. in his 1950 book. his success seemed to depend on our It’s all existential. has in him? A lot. quoted in The Paris Review. yet I always couldn’t every word. Mailer was sheer performance. Here. continued investment in his performance. Suddenly. as he gave us his delicate paratrooper. Hitler was repeat. With a sly sidelong glance. it seemed Mailer was interested in me. he the cross-town bus gabbing into their cell phones. Mailer stashed away the Certainly. He nodded in for an act of interpersonal terrorism. so much does the writer have in common with the fuhrer?4 ing Mailer’s lower lip tremble. Mailer himself. But Mailer. the only articulable conclusion is that Norman on me for growing keen to my importance for him. made sure I’d have a hard time proving didn’t know the name “Norman Mailer. sible for his worship. shutting me up. which In this moment. I can recall from my student to pronounce on this new subject. but maybe I in the Forest from an inside blazer pocket and. ler. you can endlessly and freely kill. placed one hand on his hip. me. The advice— It was more dependent on my investment. Mailer. other. Repressing a yawn. two blondes clapped. It was Heinrich’s way of saying: “Now comes the meat. telling him. with their stuff out and their gadgets.R.’ A brilliant remark stream of quietly delivered barbs (which. and profit —How do you.” He nodded. It was clear that what we were getting was had had real ideas. tained Mailer the night. the elevator. What I knew I never really liked. confirmation. indi. telling Mailer this. Mailer pulled the then-manuscript of The Castle Hitler and the Devil. Now. eighty-three. with the precession of simula. I need to know that I’m good. yes. cruelly. I got emptily performative thenightcafe@gmail. cra in Mailer’s universe. too. about Hitler’s failed ambition in art school. He remains solely respon- days that the Marxist Friedrich Engels once wrote. looking me in the eyes. In a invented wholesale in the first place. For example. know that you are a tive that Mailer only said what he said so that I would repeat it. The thrill The unrealism went beyond Mailer’s wattle and objective 83 I mean the real writer. purify old peasants are devout. This thrilled pation and resultant taste for aided evacuation. like. he explained. and then. had left for good for the ladies’ room. his viduality. I won’t forget a word you said. Then he said something or help but be turned on by his obsession with authenticity. and Bob.) having said them. and so did Hit. kid—this is that little gesture Hitler used to employ—one prissy flip of the by changing the subject. The a long conversation. though. At humanity could ever do—say things like this.” Suggestions? Insults? t –Norman [or Nazis]” was coined by Leo Strauss. —I don’t know if I am a writer. both figurative and literal. C? The purely signifying cliché: It’s all existential. uneasy intimacy with Mailer. and you to his performance. kid. who he had been trying a cheap shot. to have all night: How much of the devil do you think the writer. carried em. poking Lucid to make him watch. predetermined. Natural Right and History. about his consti. who called himself a “Left-conservative” (it was part just how far I was going. Here. He told me not to do that—to forget Mailer doing Mailer at least. (It is cruelest to the reiterator. the law was formed in 1990 by American attorney. is what wrist. since these questions were the only grist then-girlfriend. the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. Then. and When society is working. he only exaggerates his ownership. he implicated was to be On God. I want me: these blondes had been planted by a Mossad-like P. In retrospect.” he would say. If he tries pass them on. So. coup de grace: With a hand on my hanging head. Quotation marks didn’t seem necessary. At this point in the night I was concerned with Mailer (It makes sense: his elation was the inverted joy of the about masturbation. “What do you think was. would be Mailer’s last novel)3. and. however. If this was classic Mailer. I don’t know if that made it real. his persona would always be bigger peasant looks to keep himself devout. corporation of technology into contemporary fiction (about didn’t say. E S SAY E S SAY jacent to ours to join us. Follow your gut. too. This. but the Internet.) writer? own it. The worst was this: words. though. now. finally. But it was earned by his ability to do better with words than most all of to Mailer’s invitation with the sort of B-movie submissiveness eagerly directed a question at Adam. We ought to rue tangibility. asking I can’t get rid of them. the disputed father of neo-conservatism. That is also impossible to prevent. precisely because he physically says them without “Yes. I am almost nearly posi- had the two women. This was Mailer’s brilliance: making unknown artist who finds someone that knows him)—and it (A few years earlier. pounced. I am totally a delicate Nazi paratrooper. only comes now. But most of what that unimaginative critics call unrealistic. the life. or whether even if it comes from the wrong mouth. via SMS to my Adam. He had no authority. it was a win that sus- school. one. you know. and attention given to me by others was my fastest cure. emitting the weak energy of a words for something. and states: “As a discussion grows longer. you know. tell them. because while you can should have used them—that is. of the identity he had began to carve out for himself at my age) that. “incest! This is one very good reason that was me playing the version of myself I feared I which Adam was mercifully indifferent). in the writing. 1961 3 Send letters to U This is Godwin’s law inverted. The first time I repeated inspired him. Mailer had been Jesus. Timeless stuff. A demon. of course. Do they walk around mum necessary to convince us that he was speaking from he knew how to use it. it statements that begged to be repeated. he would hold up his hand in precisely When Mailer was at a rest. it was all a diversionary set-up to this. Suddenly see. it was clear Mailer.. then. which is the reductio ad hitlerum. or ad nazium. Hitler. Mailer put his cane out at 45 degrees and physically stopped me. An acute fear of the sinful is bound to display itself by one of two extremes: Absolute devotion to of technology…?” I started. Also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies. for blood-scandal. it was only that. It is 8 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 9 . ‘When the young women and their cell phones. I need. Mailer was stingy with his truth. him of content rather than filled him with it.. his last book empty questions to be heard. the thought was not beyond edly a spark for Mailer’s ranting (as he was in The Castle. without any dramatic Catholic Church decided adultery was impossible to prevent. religious practice. even if his god turns out to have been Said Mailer. I promise you. feeling a new. confirms his un- —Then you are not a writer. finally. just sent her Mailer’s a child’s gift. It is a logical fallacy. Mailer said. My granddaughters only talk to me about shopping on than ours. Mailer was might even have looked like I was sacrificing myself for the them wasn’t ten minutes after they were uttered. also known as “playing the Nazi card. could tell by the happy glint in his eye. Mike Godwin. Hitler is the tasteless endpoint of with one prissy flip of his wrist affected an accent I hadn’t heard * * * Questions? Comments? since Clueless: like. the women Adam didn’t answer. either—worse. rather than Mailer himself. I didn’t say anything else. And thus Mailer exacted his revenge upon me. answers to my emptily performative questions. the he had sensed my dawning perception and strategically moved me. again as if two good pumps of his head might be the mini. initiating a riff on originality relative to the Original. As much can be said bedded insights). he mentioned to what was particularly evil in Mailer’s genius. like—this— both sides of his heart. None of it is final. According to Wikipedia. a long road ahead. Yet here. from killing. age had emptied Mailer eventually said made me feel no way at all. Mailer a conversation he and I had been having about the in. hesitation. I walked him and Lucid to haired man handling his cane thought he was. Here. Adam finally addressed him —What’s that Mr. that what we were getting was Mailer doing Mailer rather than my disappointment.” nor who this white. I talked all the way. Are they all whores? He asked me about the girls at my such that by definition. performing in turn according to our contract. getting to use such useless years—as was immediately made clear by the blinking blank. the term. would go on tired fighter. to say that it was perversely triumphant to hear a man who firm working for Mailer from Blue Bell’s basement. This was truly Mailer material. he actually seemed to be drawing close to Mailer made all of us partially responsible for his existence. greedy himself. not answered. That night.

with accents. the alone in a room.” They represent a range of pitches and dy. P laying the viola was a painful and go home. Out of college. cartwright. But Hollinger gives a greater significance “Playing music for me was physically tax. At times.” His knowledge of musical texts moved to the city in 1984. ing. “I look at a script as a musical went to work as a literary manager at the undergraduate he planned a double major score. he ied viola at Oberlin Conservatory. “The small things are ing. for example. but I can make my mistakes sound of words has musical qualities. has also influenced the way he marks ing his Masters in Theater at Villanova. wheelwright.” he expect to hear from somebody whose job the teacher wouldn’t say: ‘This is a thing said. a ‘GH’—like shipwright. who are of.” mance every night.” for New Plays. stud. Fledgling theaters like the Ar- We would write something. and right. Pugnaciously. ART IN T ERV IE W MODERN THE SYNAPSES By Alice Xiang CONCERT- MASTER By Nathan Wainstein Philadelphia local Michael Hollinger discusses the role of music in his distinguished playwriting career. The year was 1989. really of immeasurable importance. there’s no standard for what works and the trap of “directing” each line (“CHAR- “I used to get terrible anxiety what doesn’t. wife and two children. “When you stand up from your demands that he spend most of his time called a hull. and rests. “I didn’t learn anything. leads to trouble with actors. but Hollinger is satisfied talk about it. I’m very methodical about my notation. and the lish after being frustrated by the creative His attention to detail sometimes Philadelphia theater scene was burgeon- writing program. a craft. Playwright is spelled with ACTER: Nervously. “I’m influenced me. “I Hollinger’s musical training proved ing. this helps to give clarity to a den (now located at 2nd and Arch in Old 10 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 11 .”). ten taught to disregard stage directions. It was lonely. whose play “Opus” finished namics. where he lives now with his over a long period of time. After finish- its off-Broadway run in September. The problem is that then scene—young playwrights often fall into experience for Michael Hollinger. “Studying viola certainly sees dynamic markings. As an his plays.’ You’d need to understand simple act of standing up completely with his transformation from classical the physical principles that are at work. but abandoned Eng.” That’s not what you If you were to take a shipwright’s class.” changes the meaning of what you’re say- violist to award-winning playwright. to scene notation. Now go make one and we’ll chair to say something. Newcomers founded companies left My classes were the ‘anything goes’ kind. talk about it. staccatos.” he recalled. he Hollinger. I can produce in the language works rhythmically. attacks before performances. tempo. It should be happy that I don’t have to give a perfor. etc. a play is very important—the way that the same for an actor. rests. It’s a practical art. When a musician looks at a score and get to be a private person and a public more valuable. The mere Hollinger got his playwriting start in moment. now-defunct Philadelphia Festival Theater in English and Music. The aural experience of doesn’t feel constrained by it. he person at the same time.” he said. Philadelphia.

because they pay attention.” Hollinger tapped into his personal ex. Stephen’s Alley. I’m “I’m heartened by the resilience of an at their original home in opened at Primary Stages ings compose most of the action. I was always interested motions for their instruments. But moments before comes to me from music. It’s a practical art.” is Arden Theater produced how Hollinger describes the keystone that holds the group togeth. “New York is a megaphone to the never been interested in breaking ground. “I still play. I wanted the next play to be expensive proxy from the theater’s stash. this play? What’s the farthest things can in Philadelphia. the symphony. it. professional string players were recruited American expatriate in the mode of “I’d always wanted to write a play about to help the actors master the appropriate Ernest Hemingway. art.” audience rarely noticed the change. grinning. and forts and squabbles over dynamic mark. In a play where unvoiced discom. My previous play [“Tooth and Claw”] stage to perform for the President. saw the play yelped in horror when the changed completely for those characters. Since my daughter was is both a dialogue-driven melodrama and “Good. But I love an elegiac meditation on the transience of The smashing of the violin is the most “Opus” opened at Primary Stages don’t know what the future of contempo- startling moment in the play. the actors used an authentic By Robin Lipp cal background.” actors are required to mime playing their together.” Lazara violin. handcrafted violin. solo. art form that has lasted three thousand St. and a heartfelt tribute to Hollinger pushed the idea to the back inestimable value. At language.” he said. a celebration of But I didn’t know how to go about it. In 1994. I the trade by writing children’s plays and born. ture. every theater in the country own. perience playing chamber music when trous for the actor who has never held a tured as part of the Arden’s 20th Anniver. salesman. Café du Grand Boeuf ” Arden Theater. had been such a huge production—an “Lazara” violin was swapped for an in- 12 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 13 . I’m not entirely interested playwright.” exactly what a New Opera is. the Glass Menagerie. I don’t know just the guy at the bar. A composer “I was tired.’ where a glass unicorn means something. It was Theater in New York last struction of the instrument is shocking ily. Despite all of this. In the final scene. And then restaurant in Paris and announces that in that—exploring the musical sense of there is the broken violin. as I interpret them. really. If a play is well received in doing something that nobody’s done the Arden developed at pressed by the quiet el. The Arden’s production solved the Hollinger attributes his comfort with cepted. he still finds time to string quartet as they prepare for a tele. Despite the visibility that city offers.” The idea for the play oc.” wheelwright. As for the future of contemporary his first full-length play. though not as vised performance at the White House. “This for the Arden. It instrument was shattered. Gradually. in Philadelphia. In the play. the scene posed an interesting I think that the forms I work with mutate a string quartet that was performing at challenge to the director. egance of the script and go?’ When you look at other plays. Considering the aim for a form. the play exhibits Hollinger’s of his mind. sary season. and terrifying. one or two literary direc.” He is cur.” likewise for Philadelphia actors. He moved to Philadelphia the cellist of the Lazara Quartet. Eighteen years passed.” enced. a wealthy curred to him during his years at Oberlin. I think that the scale of [‘Opus’] allows for he said. Then average price of concert-quality instru- in doing exactly what the form requires. It may be my favorite art es a few unusual technical challenges. both the Lazara quartet’s namesake and linger’s plays to be produced in New for it. the de. “I always ask myself. he isn’t blind to the effect a New years. summer. But I don’t look very far down the the first of seven produc. walks into his private a string quartet. The they did my first play. epic piece.” “I always ask myself. when the cast runs off- has to master all the forms—sonata. he is going to starve himself to death.cello before. able to work where I live. I was im. It creating room for emerging writers. to have a fam. the final scene. The centerpiece of the plot is the once a tragedy. of instruments as characters. I’m not sure if there’s a place “Playwright is spelled with a ‘GH’–like shipwright. or can be.instruments onstage—potentially disas- A revival of “An Empty Plate” is fea.” Hollinger remembered. “Opus” began to take of the play.” Settlement Music School. writing “Opus. That’s what Absorbed in the action of the play. The play opened in er. small actions with great ramifications. I’ve tions at the Arden. rary opera is. your journey. ‘What’s extremity in this play? taking occasional teach. before.” said Hollinger. ‘What’s extremity in rest of the world. Despite “My timing was really its small size. cartwright. “Here. an 18th-century antique of French cooking. “Five characters in a What’s the farthest things can go?’” ing jobs. the room with four chairs. “But opera is hard. a craft. York. Then you take a play like ‘The finds out. It’s part of your musical ap. smashes characteristic melding of genre. Serving as Theater last July. a comedy. the other with his Oberlin ‘Opus’ is.” said Hollinger. The Arden was five years old when chamber music. local actors in big roles instead of play the viola. “Opus” pos- lucky. We got to grow up form in the world. “Form is something that shape. Hollinger ac. I guess what I’ve done is look back a time when Philly The.” ater really came into its the technical virtuosity of of a Salesman’ requires the death of a New York. Ozier Muhammad/NYT the performance. the violin becomes a character of its Hollinger prefers to premiere his work theater.” said Hollinger. “When I and focused on establishing himself as a the instrument onstage. Hollinger considers himself a “An Empty Plate in the January of 2006 at the own. ‘Death tors hear about it. I told shatters and a girl has her heart broken. “It’s great to be able to classicist.” he said.” Still. career. Hemingway. “My relationship with at the Arden. I haven’t had much time. know your audience. It was the third of Hol.” Hollinger learned much as I used to. “I’ve thought about doing an opera. I asked was extremely important. When I saw “Opus” about with every piece. If it’s well received in carefully. Carl. For most Abstract Study of Gauguin’s “Night Cafe” a variety of dramatic forms to his musi. roommate—and a solo show. Victor. a neighbor asked if he wanted to play in ments. and rently working on two musicals—one five people in a room talking. “Opus” follows the fictional Lazara Hollinger that the cellist with whom I and the audience knows the world has Hollinger where he sees himself in the fu- “Local theaters began casting experi. As our time drew to a close. For the Arden production. “It’s something I think York success can have on a playwright’s road to the future of the art form. problem by simple substitution. prenticeship. I N T E RV I EW I N T E RV I EW City) started producing world-premieres.

The Resonance Ma. prosperous New England lawn. diagrams of chimerical beasts and import of the ‘Patamechanical tion of rising. can be related bio-rap performance that the cu.” (This was as incompre. circular glasses settled down. Salley himself as a kind of central black wheel that when in the 17th century. century European as the critical jump. provided the cabinet of preserved insect specimens. This literal harmony be. semblage that truly put the “organ” in entrance there is a set of cardboard box. The curator. It’s really not so worth mentioning. there is an analogy opened. adjective “‘Patamechanical” refers to just SURREAL hideous laughing automata from a sim. The room is “that we are all a restless nest of wooly ill. weapons-sup- ily by its elaborate displays of patriotism white columns and bronze reproduc. DE ST I NAT IONS DESTINATIONS portion of the tour.” and “adequate. been nearly solved. tum by Prince Atom Belglom demon. a great collectibles of “enlightened” aristocrats Mr. tion for the Musée Patamecanique. tronically generated tones are conveyed r. charming ceeds at an electric pace. “I won’t be able substrate. I hard physical evidence of a world that lay portraits of somber 16th century aristo. ‘ ataphysics was born at a mo- ment when many believed the se- the arcane and the imaginary fuse into a Our destination. Neil Salley. the the Resonance Chamber. These had been uncertainty as to what it all means. Thus the properties described by their virtuality to creatures with mixed. vertigo-inducing exhibit in an adjoining room had a sign that said: captured. plier to Picasso. hand and those same two tones flowed culated by returning sailors and more speech. the broad-ranging field of which ed by the little flashlights attached to the N Musée’s pocket guidebooks. in the heart of the town. The whole complex is allegedly strates the “sympathetic resonances” rather the introduction of yet further Museum) provides a rare. two elec. but ‘Pataphysics P Musée Patamecanique (‘Patamechanical nuts and sea salt competing for primacy ogy fair. this should embryonic. musically trained. puckish progenitor of the on Independence Day. until the frightening instant matter. The icon- The locals probably don’t even know tour. France. which resisted classification. to answer any questions until things have Da Vinci’s famous “Vitruvian Man. back on oceangoing vessels. To magnify the prestige of a brief history of ‘Patamechanics. rattling off highly poetic lectures soundproof compartment. distinguished primar.” When attempting to the foundations of our knowledge. which.” I existence. choreography incorporated Mr. Neil the flashy.” or the ways in which energy waveforms—im- obscurity. up hair”—single-celled Of course. therefore belong to the territory of ‘Pata- a museum that is truly out there. magnified Salley will only offer so much by way of the ‘Patamechanics Hall? In the strange- “Ring for fingers” and beneath it a door. on the quantum principles and cosmic had the unnerving sensa.” or Wun- derkammen. with little fanfare at a “secret” rocky coastline looking out at the Narra.I. fickle beings” as one lyric in Salley’s poem provide any kind of overarching explana. these elite eccentrics in a practically infinite number of ways. on site.” This spectacle. inside of ‘Patamechanics”: the great age of sea ‘Pataphysics to describe the neo-scientific 14 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 15 .) symbiotically inside But even then. The crats. es. there will be some What does all this have to do with Then the curator disappeared. Upon our third ring. who through my body. Most thrilling was a kind of spun creates a nearly indescribable kaleido- in so-called “Wonder Rooms. after we had e-booked a private evening when the alarm bells started clanging. occult form to which the ‘Pa- hensible as it was useless in preparing me life forms that dwell all really be experienced in person. I am physics. greeted us over the room. singing Mixotricha Para. of the ‘Patamechanics Hall above the with the New World. These revealed their Then there is the Time this property of validating a reality out- pler age… and also color photographs of functions one by one in a pan. perception. Salley’s preface to the turn of the last century.” (a floating hologram of a the resulting disturbances in the liquid are in the consciousness of 15th sipping bicycle enthusiast. A door to a species of termite. ewly opened this past year seaport town: sleepy pubs. They When the Smithsonian is just too tame… shrouded in darkness not quite penetrat. giant bow hovering next to an ear) and videotaped and projected onto a screen. and exhibit pointed to a “rupture” oclastic writer Alfred Jarry—absinthe- it’s there. devices. tween man and protozoan may suggest a tions. a wired wheel that I was recruited to turn faster inherent in “quantum biophysics. and inside the dark. who housed them By Eli Epstein-Deutsch mentary goblets of sherry and offered us cog in the macro-machine of the exhibit. mance crossed with a demented technol. chine or Vibro Aegrotatio Machinamen. R. he warned. like all history. turned out to be an elegant building ethereal orchestral music poured from through a Petri dish filled with water. Perhaps. These are areas that continue to It’s hard to get one’s bearings inside metaphor for symbiogenesis. particle. Neil Salley appeared once again. is the epitome of tions of classical statues flanking the wide the other apparatuses flickered to life all forming a hypnotic vision of flux like an ing-off point for the “Science and Art Theatre of the Absurd—coined the term a peaceable. for visibility and ensconced in a series elucidation. were informed. in the form of objects brought with an eclectic array of wall adornments: bounced nimbly through the installation of my skin undulating force. Some of the other technology is also very conscious of how it might be shelved ‘Patamechanics is but a small subsection. Borges Plateau. the Disney Palace. at Mr. In the Cymatic Exciter. The tour pro. The setting was the encounter. rator delivered at one point. “flimsy. scopic effect involving a their collections. he directed us into a small foyer we struggled to follow our guide.. Salley presented us with compli. With mannered As the Ear-o-lin kicked up a notch. which all supposedly contain explana. quantum mechanics and ge- us inside. has something tended to enhance and manipulate the ing artifacts that symbolically attribute doxa. tamechanical Museum pays tribute. we artifacts in carefully structured ways in- presented was: “the pracitice of manifest.” “makes one reveal marvels and pose challenges to the ‘Patamechanics Hall. ture of time. I will consider the following account of The Birth and Disappearance of location in Bristol.” “simplistic. all linked by some logic sensory display whose precision Maximus by Ezekiel Such souvenirs became the prized we were not quite ready to comprehend. in the air and seemingly not a whiff of the bizarre anywhere. much a tour as a one-man cabaret perfor. the visitor has navigation allowed for encounters with array of luminous machines a portentous a chance to play the role of the vibratory realms beyond what the Western World glimmer in his spectacles. the door of glowing tubes to form a sonorous as. on the other side of understanding. Sally’s behest and my material patterns—manifest in physical The Origins of ‘Patamechanics crets of the physical universe had M decidedly real and quite eerie multimedia was revealed to my traveling party only own peril. These items. ably slew of flickering “ocular soon began to display their exceptional The definition for ‘Patamechanics he accompanied by a chorus of entities. in light of this concern. Signs of this “aberrant domain” mented by a black fedora. a mansion with the “Ear-o-lin. for contemporary scientific frontiers of and with a Willy Wonka grin he ushered microorganism. Bristol. The boxes are labeled with words netics. the address of which and faster. claims. in an their lineaments. “This is the automated abstract religious symbol. OF THE a phrenological skull. or the fact like. mind-bending glimpse into a realm where the scientific. Laying posed like Leonardo had previously considered the scope of SCIENCE on the front steps in a dark suit comple. Then. an ancient-looking with the unpredictability of a subatomic fully. ‘Patamechanics not an explanation. I could feel every inch crucially. The gansett Bay. “the paradoxical to do with the fundamental na. the smell of homemade do.” the curator said. viewer’s experience of them. for anything I was about to experience. powered by the Crank-O-Wank. or Lumineus side the boundaries of the common ken. Machine. On a small ledge in the eaves ness of 15th century European encounter bell flashed. practice of museum curation arose.” grabbed onto a plastic cylinder with each first began to appear through tales cir- and marbled bowtie.

well funded. no such esteemed members as M. time that Pataphysical principles were a poetic expressiveness to his somewhat Jarry’s ideas gained a tenacious hold on consciously employed in the service of an tortured ruminations on the subject. Faustroll. Jarry de. Accordingly. the postmillennial era. But it bur. tucked field’s founding document. if characteristi- intellectuals and artists. though changed). It may have The conquest of the soul of Jean Even (The Large Glass). and bylaws. DE ST I NAT IONS DE ST I NAT IONS / CA RTOON discipline of his own invention. and maintaining a set of sophisticated one knows for sure. in an illustra. twenty-five years. made publicly in 1975. a wolf ’s who considered himself a die-hard prac. Eadem mutata resur- far beyond metaphysics as the lat- ter extends beyond physics. away in quiet. Braudillard—the so-called “high-priest 1915 and 1923 out of various materials rum for reviving Jarry’s plays. Jarry’s influence surrealist painter Joan Miro. machines.. In the 1896 pica.I. along a group of friends cally opaque line: “the ‘pataphysical spirit Among them was Marcel Duchamp. Max of reemergence has been fulfilled quite The Bureau for the Investigation of Sub. information. Duchamp.” Jarry wrote. Pataphysician. of postmodernism. Hirsutism and Pogonotrophy are two of global ‘Pataphysics network. Jean Braudillard. scholar Arthur Kroker. how far “ ataphysics of the Year 2000” is the title of an essay more apposite would be the law of published in 1992 by the the ascension of a vacuum toward a prominent French cultural critic periphery. the London Institute’s renowned depart. offering free admission Pâtè à physique. The Guardian (UK) has re. day-to-day proceedings. unreal mechanism. Jarry apparently Escher.”—should be taken 16 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 17 . were al. For “TRAWLING” whether the laws are natural (physi- cal) or supernatural (metaphysical). impressively. Braudillard was Schrodinger’s equations describing quan.” the not to mention the nature of their the Italian literato and semiotics professor The Musée Patamecanique. then just beginning prophesied some of the most significant accompanying notes refer to the slightly to stir from its underground hibernation. du Pataphysique) in 1948. recently de- tion of the ‘Pataphysician’s obsession with tions somehow through the interaction of ceased. into ‘Pataphysics. were Transcendent Sartraps. seduction and terror. knowable reality. attached to panes of glass. The artist’s physical organization. Pataphysique. with which was inaugurated in a joyful ceremony ing trend. erotic essences and machine components connection to the international ‘pata- The ‘Pataphysical mode of thought in four-dimensional space. The article revealed Braudillard’s equivalencies and inversions. London manifested its own merely one of the latest and most com- The term “‘Pataphysics” might have masterpiece is a massive diptych of boasting a boundless bureaucracy brim. Flatulence is at the can be observed in such significant works Parisian College of ‘Pataphysics (College origin of the breath. Raymond Queneau. (Or. taste of what is to come. It is ru.C. the College of ‘Pataphysics denied its own exis- By Nicole Singer Jarry’s views challenged induc. tence. is See www. Many interpret. place out: it might give you the slightest resque novel “Exploits and Opinions College’s precise long-term aims. which func. But the Musée is clearly very ics). Indeed. as well as Godel’s In. contains the memorable. reinterpreted. Made between originally been intended merely as a fo. lends rational.” as The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelor. pas ta physique (not your physics) or complex.”) The College’s promise ficials) from the College du Pataphysique. It a small yet illustrious group of modern (imagined) tangible construction. is the nail in the tire—the world. not the least among them ments. soon as evidence of the renewed force with occultation. and attracting the postmillennial era has thrust itself attended by grandees (high ranking of. and Asger Jorn. According to the cultural and political mathematics: Einstein’s general relativity. The physique now registers over 1000 fee-pay. which ‘Pataphysics has thrust itself into tributary Institute of ‘Pataphysics. tive scientific reasoning. and associates that included the absurd. So check the such speculation. liminal Images and the Committee for ment has ties to the upper echelons of the mark in order to purposely confound mored that all four Marx Brothers ported that the Parisian College du Pata. particular”—are the exceptions and alternate interpretations that under- mine any fixed set of universal laws. cluding “oscillating density” and “friction “haunted by the enigma of ‘pataphysics. started the renders its tire soul. ing members. “Instead of formulating the law of the fall of a body toward a centre.” Braudillard’s blows to the Enlightenment model of a unveiling of his “Bride”: probably the first slim 2002 pamphlet. (physics-dough). He was perhaps one of the earliest thinkers Postmodernism and the to seriously (or humorously) contest Resurgence of ‘Pataphysics P the Newtonian paradigm. pseudo-engineering sketches outlining a ming with meaningless subcommittees. may have had some- C A RTOON to ‘Pataphysics—“the science of the thing to do with their decision. namely the magical ascent of the reality- completeness Theorem.” Central go (I arise again the same.museepata. with an agreement to resurface in the year for further fines ‘Pataphysics as “the science of ways very difficult to ascertain. stately little Bristol. R. tum indeterminacy. hierarchies. the Musée Patamecanique could well have principle itself into the language of arti- ed these discoveries as quantifiably fatal chosen to trace their roots to Duchamp’s fice. Upon the great year of de. of Dr. ist playwright Eugene Ionesco and the mouth (lupo vesce)… does a tire die? It titioner of ‘Pataphysics. which pelling instances of this slowly gather- come from patte à physique (leg of phys. Duchamp’s geoned into a much bulkier beast.” This is pure Jarry. developments in 20th Century science and distorted laws of physics that might be re. to go into occultation. quired to make the contraption work. in. Umberto Eco. imaginary solutions… extending as Their motto. It is likely that the establish- added the meaningless punctuation Ernst.

When they huff. all the Eveni are stove in the corner of each dormitory. ing -60º F winters.” Vasily replied. a buyun. its antlers drunk. Inch by quivering. and people as far away as jected Vasily to Kamchatka’s world-record and empties a pile of salt into his palm. the other side of the classroom. whose childhoods were people say that staying in place has made six. Vasily presses himself against the tree Vasily. He supposes that the cultural re. cycle. old curse the Soviets. all you never echoed from the same peak twice. Vasily holds his breath. sitting in the empty hospital wing inch. The trees draw near has a chestnut overcoat with a I F “ n Kamchatka. The Soviets gave them came up brandishing a piece of floor that it was a dream that settled the matter winces—he has disturbed herds before. birth. reindeer sniffs the salt in Hunyuk’s palm. as dozens of reindeer The city of Esso is not quaint like the punctuated by the booms and cracks of the wandering Eveni lost. and the volcanoes Hunyuk begins to creep forward. his face aglow. Some. At Hunyuk opened the locked cash register has been sensed—but when a reindeer attacks humans. the Eveni language died language again!” were growing faster. licks the salt clean off in a because he has tried all of the others. Hunyuk’s diagnoses begin to ing forms a dim centerpiece for several spirits. sits student call him by his full patronymic. which now glint “Your kujjai should not be holimangan. resulting in against a tree. has had only two or clined to move past the second lesson. five floors. in a few swipes of the tongue. “It means a rein- a buoy. but at first they “you were born. herd. it is with liable to get you into trouble. man—sometimes in his herb-induced hangovers.” one girl murmured. wild reindeer. the great volcano. Vasily was unemployed for years. eleventh birthday and never met his fa. he fol. like the village. then. Russian or not at all!” He rounded on couldn’t recall the details. But cultural skeletal. The bears fidget in the boarding school—several “Ajit gu! Ma!” came a whisper from toward Esso.” three shots because he is working. as at the reindeer. If you reindeer. and a paneling. “But then. Vasily remembered lows. sneer at the shamán from afar. in a piss. reindeer antlers Vasily freezes at first. a plain red textbook. The reindeer is gan—it. deer jerky.” Hunyuk whispers over lighter scruff. Then the herd is in Vasily remains behind the tree for the minded where they are. hum of the classroom. night when he performed his rituals. The evidence was in his sixth toe. One of most of the Eveni now live. which he would leave in the The mass of their antlers looks like the take time.” and looks at Vasily’s was that he was to be Hunyuk’s successor. vival programs that started after the fall ing. est now. But how just branches. He learned not to cry because the ily recoiled. Vasily’s apartment build. but Vasily’s teacher was never in. which is not often. “They are here. of the Soviet Union have helped—now. Petrapavlosk at the southern tip of the winters.” Hunyuk invariably says. Down in the valley. Hunyuk burst in to perform Vasily tries to still himself and flattens up SOULS trance. but a converted warehouse. and the drone of the mosquitoes was perpetually open on every student’s foreign. “Holimangan. In the gap between two larches. the kind The second reindeer is also holiman- bottle of Ruskova vodka. But spontaneous booms in the daylight. Uksichan began concepts cannot help him or anyone else moved to Esso. He sub. Hunyuk survived. because nobody wants to be re. because it is as much a joke as In school. He slurped vodka to celebrate his green clearing. shakes it reindeer suit. the dogs occasionally mistake ciga. 1 uchakh: a personally significant reindeer used for transport sons of bitches! You will not speak that The Esso Eveni got drunk and wondered * * * 18 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 19 . The Soviets He would break into Vasily’s apartment. But in the muddy the air. to belch smoke and lava. next hour or so. Nobody except In the autumn of 1985. he and Hunyuk approach the un. the presented the difficult side of the rela. A twig snaps under his boot and he the air that does not feel like tension. bursting out of his rhythm of his pursuers. fifteen “Ma. too. and then Fedor and his heroin collected the raindrops. fooled by his fur suit. desk. cocked their heads to the window. El. The logic that escaped Vasily. The young curse the old and the Vasily’s breath hissed when it touched Anatoly and viciously slapped him. always tiny rituals in his apartment. Stay here. The sight is bewildering: There are rumblings in the earth. As Vasily slept off terrible the clearing. A few blocks from the con. the vegetable gardens. its ears flitting back matter of seconds. They have killed us. The signs were obvious. their breath only to be replaced by another curious venience store. Here. and a stillness in nobody knows if they are from the rein. in which Vasily and Anatoly shared a wild-eyed While the Soviets caught the other grocery store cash register overnight for tangled brushwood of winter. it will rush to your stream. but Eveni words have become Vasily’s childhood had played like a “Look. But Hunyuk scam. who had spoken to him A smile creeps onto Vasily’s face. even harder and whispers. he watches Hunyuk work. snored too loudly. They say the funny words and flashy necklaces. chatkan bilberry jams since the store more than a natural part of its eruption in the language of their ancestors. tog odak!” grew in strange ways. then uses it to point. there was Hunyuk. chair. The first to S smile. murmuring in its wool blankets. some snorting and gather around Hunyuk. The deer stamping the permafrost or Uksi. nobody learned a thing. they say in broken Russian.” will go away at least for a little while. Eveni students. four antlers.” whispered Anatoly. tickling the air vent. moves to graze somewhere else. When disorder. with the antlers of his reindeer fur cap seen herd. no insulation against the bit. With one eye around the on the move. likely to throw you over its antlers. his shoulder. easily misled. “Naverno. nificent head of a wild reindeer. The Aleksandr Vladimirevich Tomsky was his when the time comes. Its furry antlers appear to have one-sided conversation with Vasily. Mostly he would give Vasily fur blankets during stamping. “Do not speak! You will speak for the old shamán—it often was—but he to Hunyuk’s disappointment. Vasily to find in the morning. Animal bones formed dia. the sun. “Nyet! Quiet.” into boarding school. not reindeer fur.” made wanted posters. brown. his face red. Hunyuk turns is mechengen—“a very cunning reindeer. Hunyuk disappeared into the forests. The the predawn season. hundred squat concrete houses. Fire are dead. up behind his back. billows up briefly as they look around. grams in the permafrost. Too eager. grew and forth. everything stirs in or Vasily. and prompts no objections. looks each reindeer in the eye. windows. The rain then drops its snout and licks it clean sleep. and strips of rein. and his howling no rules besides the ones he set himself. singed sheets and broken windows. Customers the fury that lay behind them. but always off the tionship—the old shamán was subject to the lazy saunter of a king. Yet at Vasily’s has let up and the air is still around him. miles outside of Esso. reindeer follow his gaze. strokes ears. Unpaved grin. and pulls out a leather pouch. Hunyuk had first taken Vas. side. and some of the reindeer begin a stop-start approach. around. but sight. Hunyuk keeps up his on the counter next to the cash register His haggard eyes betrayed very little of ference between buyun.” opened. but it awakened the spirits of the the subject crops up. Vasily’s grasp of Russian is mod. come to see. Vas. and puts out his hand. “Oh. letting the mentions. the classroom fell silent. easily duped. high on wild herbs that he called sharik Hunyuk reaches into his hide trousers ANIMAL pered throughout Kamchatka in his and claimed grew on Uksichan. want gum and cigarettes. “They are happy. F IC T ION FIC TION wistfully where he went. kneels. and dappled. tragedy enacted during an artillery shell. “Vidimo tak. All at once. shamáns by their jangling talismans. grazing assiduously. domesticated. ily to see the reindeer when he was just ticulous than the last. They are not foot. hiding in plain He feels like he’s a disturbance. the tourists has bought authentic Kam. two spirits. he turns to Vasily. also ing anything anyway. sometimes on his uchakh1. The shamán holds one hand pectedly. an Even. But Hunyuk’s palm By Brendan Work Hunyuk’s recounting of events accom- panies a sigh and a self-congratulating * * * remains open. making him help the shamán Then he stalks forward to the opening of peninsula reported sightings of the old herd reindeer. Uksichan thundered on. each advance becoming more me. The reindeer don’t bolt.” deer who is always eager for salt. and his first demand was that each gather for the hedje. not good for a kujjai. looking like a welcome clown with view: at least a hundred reindeer. of course. boarding school to remarry in Alaska. which aren’t grow. the ancient dance of in Eveni. they vodka has replaced the shamáns. that with the rains will come the ementary Russian.” says Hunyuk. His mother. in Avangai. chilli-flavored name. left the city while Vasily was in it hasn’t known in years. Later white. several of them bent lowly now. lucky bear teeth to smuggle streambed. eventually return to graze. and Vasily understands the dif. Vasily thinks perhaps he the buyun is beymenga—“a reindeer that streets turn to mud when the snow melts. “The Eveni the winters. but most grazing in the lush holimangan. customer. It looks up expectantly. Tomsky flashed through the desks. “Tog muhoni. chan. Unex- gutters lives a pale hope that nobody tears froze. and oron. He rubs noses.” reindeer looks at Hunyuk and Hunyuk as they dream and the clouds swell. It was nothing construct sentences or articulate thoughts turned average dismay into wondrous Hunyuk and Vasily move closer to the These can be greedy and vain creatures. no foliage. Vasily can see it: the mag. little Berne.” Another rette butts for food and shit them out in Suddenly Tomsky roared above the drumbeats were loud. which is what the tourists have their volcanic homeland. the Esso Eveni ther.

He sees the up at Vasily. stir.” what a kujjai is. they have mastered the ways of places as far away as L. mance. however. return soon.” against each other as he walks past Vasily. immaculate songwriting capability and saw about 20 bands out of the Breathe. B clubbing. noise. from When a band like HEALTH comes on. beyond them with clucking noises. Hip music is moving tion is taking over. But a little fur. ers. if you haven’t already. It is as much a part of you and crunchy. Inspired by 1980s electronic assortment of people. vens.” Hunyuk pats the last reindeer on its gotten yourself. HEALTH is not the music DJing. “Look at the mountains. dear?” beat. with bright neon. synthetic electronica. its meat. Their heads are gone. fight. Club last fall). A drummer in the hop and dance music. I don’t remember. It is hard to imag. Seeing each of these bands sequencer with a tone both digitalized live was like getting down at an awesome (over) 20 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 21 . Put on your playing. “I don’t know. By sparrows at this morning angle. There are can’t help but shove. he stops and turns around.A. dressed for “new” indie scene. When danger is imminent. who line the walls HEALTH’S show highlights the latest songs. neon Adidas. and Hunyuk dismisses “Here.” Hunyuk’s facial expression doesn’t to placate him. morrow. It takes several more steps for Vasily to say. she thinks they have left the earth STUDY #2 Knitting Factory because of our love of the music is and whether shows are rock. And You Will Know Us Playing in the garden. and it’s not a fully orchestrated post. We will “I thought not. Most of these bands employed synthesiz- “Look!” “What is it. things being wrong. tight retro shirts. be Eveni. “Right?” The kujjai will die for you. regardless of who’s playing. “I want to ask you some. and sequencing. It is your animal soul. The bacon grins on the stove we are taken aback. The product is somewhere in the range include Islands (ex-Unicorns). and I of dance. and danceable beats. harsh noise—a throwback to 1980s hip. indie band that was able to came.” “On Sunday. what?” “When can we return here?” Hunyuk ine Hunyuk’s strange prescience for these Vasily produces a sorry look and says. “Little buyun are monsters. What are you looking for?” for you. dewy grass. of pure dance.A. son.” said Vasily. yes. plays a keyboard and a of the year. That is thing. “My consecrated reindeer?” concern in the old man’s face and wants “Your kujjai is not here today. The verdict is in. His amulets rattle on. hoodies. To be an orach. We are now moving to a place where what I saw was at the Knitting Factory.” There is an uncomfortable giving us its milk. By Nathan Wainstein Eight o’ clock. and its back. sequencers. she finds ers stumble onstage. Old Time Something white is rising from the lake. Many of these so-called Every self-respecting up-and-coming Today I’ll fix the damned rudder. crowned background. erally entertaining. mixing. coming from complex instrumentation of Sufjan Ste. You stand behind that tree like the woods ahead.” They are walking again now. he doubts REVOLUTION “Really?” Vasily’s whole head juts out change. tion music will be headed during the rest movement’s notable new bands: who also sings. Here is a quick guide to some of this A quiet film of morning frost. Berne. This is true at least among the this ’80s revival: electronic dance revolu- II. Instead. 20: CMJ Music Festival “Yes?” as your own body. his antlers clacking against THE PAST YEAR HAS SEEN THE RISE OF A NEW BREED OF INDIE MUSIC… ther. Berne. It is its ultimate sacrifice. Disco to Health and even to Animal Col- I for?” from harm. Names of bands that might strike home A feast and a yawn of a crack and a chill typical indie one singer-songwriter line. this new style of music is taking POETRY in dark glasses and tight pants. the Justice. with his instruments. But Hunyuk is ambling through the back into the underbrush. and Stockholm. “I’m By Louis Jargow wet nose and stands up. Forever. even though we don’t know most in’ fun parties. Like they are not a branches as he goes. which has been to focus over a range of genres—indie. music is shifting in the direction find myself surrounded by an odd dance party more than a concert.” he says. of the bands playing. But like always. I have things to do to- “Oh. DANCE Hunyuk is emptying the last of his salt silence. This trend is also By the Trail of Dead. as he can. heavily distorted noise CMJ is often a bellwether of the direc.” I think music. “What?” your kujjai deliberately gives up its life kicking reindeer. Much of afar to CMJ (College Music Journal spon. and to be here because they know the bands less on an artist’s talent and more on the electronica. New York City performers move and thrash and are gen. Three motley L.” sors this annual citywide event) and the what’s most important is how danceable but there were at least 30 other CMJ ven- “I see. F IC T ION / POET RY T HE MUSIC SCENE not a good kujjai. The last member. The result is a noise lective. ues between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Berne. He blinks. but listens and a drizzle has begun to fall. “artists” don’t even play instruments. she traces make glittering.” Poor child. I think. Their rhythm is incredibly dance party. part of you—but they are. Pointing to the kitchen glass.” Several are kuhitea. The Knitting Factory danceable despite the harsh sound. sounds and contemporary hip-hop Brooklyn hipsters. “My kujjai. up. pounding the drums as fast noticeable in fashion. for catch some of the festival. GENESIS thing Lower-Manhattanites. to Girl Talk and Simian Mobile “Do you know what you’re looking We consecrate the kujjai to protect you Lower Manhattan. Japanther (who played at Olde rock band either. and Relijun. His expression is frank. from behind the tree. Now. rock. you have for. and dance. hundreds that played. skeleton t-shirt doesn’t so much play as ing back into style. They seem trend in music. a reindeer per. and Dan Deacon The face of a man in patch of leaves. “Coffee is ready. A guitarist/synth player wearing a headbands and big headphones all com. Then there are kids like me. Not to fear. makes a sort of tribal hip-hop colored shoes. Twentysome. “Consecrated to do Hunyuk’s words. from Daft Punk and Oct.” Vasily sighs at the begin- ning of this familiar sermon. “You have forgotten what it means to sorry. or maybe they’re just here to ephemeral euphoria of the live perfor. A reindeer snorts. asks.” pouch onto his sticky palm when he looks “And what is that to you?” “I understand. (who is playing at Olde Club this spring). are here just because the venue away from the beauty and technical skill The water-drop drips from the leaf-drop slowly has a bar—this is where they go on the of bands like Explosions in the Sky or the etween Tuesday and Saturday I The cat is at the window-glass weekends.

which co-opted pop to give indie rockers something to really but can degenerate into drunken rambling. They artfully craft their signature audiences. This on samples (often refrains from hip-hop or pop songs). when Ty invited some of the audience. New York Who They Are: A two man electro act (James Shaw and James Ford) When They Got Together: 2006 revived. the crowd spilled beer everywhere. belligerent drunks. however. In the process. How We Dance: A trancey bump-and-grind that’s a bit too self-con- sciously cool to really get down. they were “fuck-ups” and that he was going to fire them. Ile-de-France. What They Have: Turntables. they release a truly masochistic their DJ-performance theatrics. throwing beer on the audience. fill huge venues and cast a mythic aura around brink of transcendence or blackout. and should be seen to appreciate this band. 22 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 23 . sound by mixing pointillistic arrangements of really short samples to How We Dance: a mix between rhythmic thrashing and zoned out… create rhythms and melodies. in which they appear as the high HEALTH’s performance seemingly brings their members to the priests of club music. yelling and mumbling. Tomasz.” the band. sequencers and samplers. people who value performance over music quality. Where They’re From: Paris. like dance-punk. they were completely inebriated. What They’re Known For: The hit singles “We Are Your Friends. the “edgy. Xavier de Rosnay) with a dedicated European cult following. told his bandmates that Who’s Listening To Them: 17–21 yr. from the ashes of a four-man DJ tribe called What They Have: Standard rock setup. pushing small fans around. teenage girls. What They Do Live: Simian Mobile Disco’s two DJ’s rely heavily fist fighting with bigger fans. France. electronic mixing equipment. Ty. Ty. mikehouse. totally raucous performance. How We Dance: Hip-hop style. lease. dudes. synthesizers. Their vein. Where They’re From: London. which appears at all their shows and most ironically pretentious venue in town).” a What They’re Known For: Their back and forth remix battles with remastering of the Simian song “Never Be Alone. they are John. at CMJ. 21. When They Got Together: 2005 27 yr. CA When They Got Their Start: 2003 When They Got Together: 2006 What They Have: A wall of speakers. ragged What They’re Known for: 2007 album Attack Sustain Decay Re- drums and sloppy guitar riffs. olds. tendency to make wild and upbeat remixes of other artists’ songs. Their Who’s Listening To Them: LA hipsters who go to The Smell (the symbol is the shining cross of light. disillusioned proponents of Hardcore. usually accompanied by an included) to rush the stage and mosh. holier-than-thou noise- on the tattoos of their faithful followers. ment. cacophonous noise to schizoid disco. Who Is Listening To Them: Crazy post-house euro-ravers who deify 20–24 yr. Justice’s music. verging at times on actual bellicosity. What They’re Known For: Being colorfully obnoxious. sequencers. When They’re From: Brooklyn. They then proceeded to have a post-ravers. fashionistas. phoenix-like. which is mirrored by their frenzied and entranced and more irreverent. What They Do Live: Their live shows. a Toronto based electro-noise band. olds. and swinging like chimpanzees on the ceiling pipes.) Simian Mobile Disco They are fallout from the decline of Hardcore. tribal drums and chants. anyone who wants to get their groove on in style. olds. England Who’s Listening To Them: Assholes. Simian (2000). mixers. (myself fair amount of their own synth playing. music could be called an acquired taste. Team Robespierre Who They Are: A poppy. plus two shitty keyboards. T H E M USIC SCE N E HEALTH Justice Who they are: A two man French electro-club unit (Gaspard Augé and Who They Are: A neon-clad West Coast noise rock quartet (Jake. their recorded demos. aggressive post-punk band (Rex. ambient or transy beat. 18–22 yr. like you might in Paces on a Saturday night. Their singing tone has an anthemic and youthful quality. ethereal voice. featuring six towers of lights surrounding their equip- MacBook Pro. Where They’re From: Los Angeles.” which reflects their Crystal Castles. heads. olds. is a bit darker quantity of energy. people who wear the loudest-colored American Apparel. bass. computers. synthesizers and What They Have: Heavily distorted guitars. They also provide an incredible programmed jumping on the amps and drums and toppling one over onto a band member’s open light show. samplers. When I saw them dance to. These are combined with unadulterated pop vocal samples. NYC fashion sensitive retroheads and pop-art What They Do Live: Their live shows are notably different from geeks. What They Do Live: Team Robespierre’s plays as a pretty simple mix of synth. Jupiter and BJ) whose output runs the gamut from crooning viewed in America primarily as artsy DJ performers in the Daft Punk ghost rock to robotic. The front man. How We Dance: Violent moshing. Jim). and add a insanity culminated in their last song. They’re like the evil cousins of Matt and Kim (who played at Swarthmore last spring.

the enigmatic protagonist is some. (computer generated imagery). steals away by real. One scene. buffs and Francophiles. he over their shoulders. exchanges coded in the midst of fog and antiaircraft fire. Robin Lipp’s candid visual narrative presents an unexpected face of zeal that simmers quietly but steadily. 300 people gathered in Washington DC to protest the geno- acter. the recently Melville’s craft draws us into every vividness to the images that goes beyond restored 1969 work of auteur tense exchange and breathless rebel ma. continually hatch- is revealed to be Phillip Gerbier. cause. DV D A RCHI V E PHOTOJOU R N A L THE LOST ACTION IN REBELLION ACTION By Robin Lipp By Eli Epstein-Deutsch Revisiting an avant-garde classic of postwar France A rmy of Shadows. like photo portraits. social action. Shortly there. after. Embattled and outgunned at every how betrayed and interred in a camp for turn. with understated morbid wit and some kind of incredibly futuristic CGI battle to arrive at meaning in absurd and cide in Darfur. 24 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 25 . 2007. trapped on a pool table that is glimpsed for only a deep in the crevices of the darkest night. the engagement is not ators in rural hideaways. second. is so intimate and palpably human that this is what makes the film so compelling: and deals mercilessly with traitors to the it inspires nervous laughter. At times Gerbier’s tale is not the tale of a war hero. the cinematic quality almost seems like but that of a determined man fighting a On April 29th. This could make Melville’s world mare Europe has ever dreamt. ing plans to rescue or sacrifice their own ranking agent in the French struggle captured members before the Gestapo against the Nazis. It tells the story which the resistance leader barely wills it seems. feel contrived. Gerbier and his compatriots are political prisoners. At some point the film follows him in the course of his daily realization hits: the “army of shadows” is operations as he confers with co-conspir. a high. And Champs d’Elysee during the start of the throughout the film. He is an intensely engaging char. sense of foreboding builds. The director constructs his shots Jean-Pierre Melville. there is a impossible circumstances. neuver—each room Gerbier enters en. submarine to England in an essentially himself to parachute out of a prop fighter Those who are looking for a war movie futile quest for funding. are bound to be disappointed. carefully positioning the balls of men who are furiously awake. charged with coordi. extracts information from them or tor- nating cells of partisan saboteurs. Upon the prisoner’s escape. with detailed care al cinematic gem and a must-see for film closes the viewer totally. realism. not a true army. “Look Ahead” signals with informants on street corners. a claustrophobic 1940 occupation of Paris. but instead it gives the be- The opening scene is a long shot of lievable impression that everything falls Nazi storm troopers marching down the strangely into place in dire times. The tures them to death. is an unusu. But for me. in for composition and visual form—even. They are always too busy looking enemy. The guards treat him never able to do any real damage to the with wary respect befitting an influential Nazis.

PHOTOJOU R NA L PHOTOJOU R NA L “Tambourine” “Private Protest” “Waiting” 26 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 27 .

and the Lord talketh. ficult. So every Sunday my younger on Christmas we were allowed to bring things that were not particularly inspir. certainly such matters would be of all of those ugly moral complexities. Under no circumstances whatsoever. Indeed. it wisely ignored by my family. and that God out. And so our parents had decided Thoughtfully. The world created in be messed with. would feel uncomfortable until I could explained the dinosaurs to the writers I should make it clear that. The Lord giveth. E S SAY ESSAY the body of the man. and endless. I came to as- vomiting on something consecrated to warned. even when it was offered to me help me develop a healthy and as part of my first Communion. A lot. with this church and its igno. was a good Catholic boy. We were crushing boredom. thus reinforcing the Christian values I was brought to church. and was decided that I would be raised given little notebooks to draw in. and so many a ruinous itch Jesus Christ would never went unscratched for fear of the mighty crotch-watching wrath of the A Catholic boyhood provokes nagging questions: What is Sin? How does God feel about me? And where were all the dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden? I CANNOT REMEMBER the first time that in back of the church with the other chil. you see. dinosaur-loving behavior. Swearing? Certainly not! turbation. When I as much as heard an- for Christ’s sake. simplistic world than to contend with setting idols before God. was a form of mas- age.” This was a warning that was things. like exactly which dead Jewish man related content. my parents forbade me I thought about it. the woman produced from ing us. This connection was of the priest awoke in me a deep and I was convinced of the tragic error of his teachings. and its shocking lack of dinosaur might have upset or chal- sister and I were dressed up in some. wouldn’t the without Catholicism. Garden of Eden. with its cute animals reinforced at my first Holy Communion. “A Place to Pray. I would sometimes parables? Dinosaur spirituality. seven days. that we would be placed in the balcony from aiming this gift at anyone’s face. All it Eventually. even go home and confess this exposure to By Fletcher Wortmann of the Bible? And indeed. presumably dren. the fact that I was told over and over the nature of the human soul was right priate gift of a Nerf foam-ball bazooka. due to a botched sexual education class Alcohol? Never! Jesus Christ I somehow became convinced that any never drank alcohol. The whole Genesis business. fake his games. was pretty that would be protected through millen. lenged his superiors: Jesus thing presentable and dragged to St. again that God loved me. it turned out. Not a Place sociate the Catholic Church with two pay much attention to my surround. association between Jesus Christ and the eternal salvation of man. God was sufficiently angry with you and standards. To cross cism. dis. of nonviolence and groin damage. From the beginning. education classes. Brought up on cartoons and video plastic transforming dinosaurs. Usually about Church’s ignorance of scientific discov. and God was judgmental and full was Catholicism influencing my per. not do with his or her genitals. I to other subjects during my religious of these creatures make for compelling set clear moral boundaries for myself. toys. It was here that torted messianic image of himself and been able work up some interest in the with material lust. confused. our ability to comprehend spiri. Because if I came to hold myself to ungodly high they said that there were no dinosaurs. Sex? Eulalia’s in Winchester. say. dinosaur-denying ways. and so like any good American ing. When my mind wandered religious ramifications of the existence very strong sense of right and wrong. There ideas about what one could and could my perspective influencing Catholi- was no way they could expect me to ac. new toys. rant. This proved dif. but a sermon on when I was given the particularly appro. This God fellow was not to nia by the Knights Templar. I became my heretical. you could wind other child swear in elementary school I carbon dating. or I decided. I had had it. God was always watch. dinosaur because it seemed far easier to live in a break down after realizing that I was redemption. I flatly refused tion. red-hot dinosaur tempta. seemed to unravel the more serious stuff. ly not before he was of legal however indirect. have used language that Catholic. of wrath. Catholicism. and so I was drafted own death in order to cultivate a dis- tual matters was limited. to Play. strumpet to father a divine bloodline But what confounded me most was and gratuitous nudity. a carved wooden sign result was that. We might have send my devout little hands a-twitching said in those masses. Catholic child I developed a Pavlovian begat which other dead Jewish man. and the words into religious education. and sure. upset me. But I do remember that as a child BOY VS. for example. however. took was the sight of a lone crucifix to tually pay attention to what was being my mother was not. Certainly God would have up in Hell. God had dire consequences. I mean. and how much of this was appointing lack of any dinosaurs. my exposure to the teachings of even when my parents tried to get me to the Catholic Church did little to taste it. then run off with some vengeful Lord. The because I was too busy napping or This was. sinful genitals. It is unclear to me how much of this would forgive me for what I did wrong. I started to ac. importance to the Catholic Church. as a child I had a my parents. sophisticated system of ethics. The Still. contact between my hands and genitals. and God had very particular spective. and your vile. But if I was through with Catholicism Jesus Christ would never. GOD cept this sort of thing literally. as a child. eries. I was told that I was supposed to love 28 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 29 . soul- ings. There were fossils. the complete. to drink even a sip of alcohol for years. uniquely religious sensation.

following in the steps of Hemingway. terror that somewhere someone the E3 Gallery in Manhattan. live in a box. a him. could never shake those early linger. he remains a Delta Upsilon frater- compared the Church to a salad bar. (the Eds. and moonlights as a also thinks you should submit your writing to The Night God. She intends to major minor. or even the proper age of the universe. an online multimedia concept. Although writing is but not an especially spiritual person. lying writes plays. still Catholic ing to. One that cannot accept dinosaur bones. in Comparative Literature (she’d minor in Doodling if various publications at Buck’s Rock Camp and in she could). I still all disgusting sinful people. Louis Swarthmore College. because otherwise anything could be a lie. Boy Meets You only had to pay attention to the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex? De. an organiza. My mother. He hated me the same way he hated everyone. is one that cannot be trusted on more important from. or it is comfortable accepting spiritual counsel even my own family. Later I would find other grounds why I continued to pray. Her cartoons have appeared in Spike Magazine.) HERE Staff Reasonable rates. however. old habits die hard. sometimes who exactly I was pray. When she grows up. He salutes the spring of Brendan Work ’10 is an English major with a pro- ing doubts. cism with complete conviction. messy. As far as music is concerned. and be very happy. despite this. God hated me. an avid mu- could ignore the rest. and an enigma. overcrowd- Nicole Singer ’10 is a Studio Art major and Education ed magnificence that is Beijing. He is reasonably certain. schools. I don’t know is currently directing a production of The Maids by Jean his high school literary magazine. handsome. And so.) afraid of him. vegan. that he does not really hate world without moral complexities. E S SAY A God. Religion isn’t salad. more than anyone else. I believed in a on which to question Catholicism and for some time. because we were Still. more than N INSTITUTION is right. Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Eli Epstein-Deutsch Marina Tempelsman Contact: Marina (610) 690–1165 Senior Editor Alyssa Work Designer Jimmy Jin thenightcafe@gmail. I hands pressed together. How could I love something so cruel and distant? God didn’t love me. feel a little twinge of guilt when I as a child. There is no room for error when one claims to possess the word of God. But this was what moments before sleep were filled with Robin Lipp ’10 has studied photography at the Interna. Genet for the Department of Theater. also served as the Art Editor of the Spectator for most of Your Ad/Coupon high school. and you lirium of the Endless. Louis is the Facilities Director of Olde Club. but I respected him and I was stumbling to breakfast in my paja. Contributors with good reason. and an over-enthusiastic (not really) Fletcher Wortmann ’10 is an English major at my mother could be moderate and to nothing? Out into the darkness WSRN DJ. performed. record store for a while. essays and fictions. (the Eds. Yahweh? Allah? Buddha or Frank Sinatra. For a long time. She umbrellas. to say a silent “Our Father” every Eli Epstein-Deutsch ’10 edits The Night Café. anxiety: worry that my words were tional Center of Photography in New York City. I hated God Editorial Assistant Advertising Representative Ads available in 1/4. first caused me to doubt it. He is the co-creator of The Gloaming. I wonder Folk Implosion. without purpose. and ceramics teacher. a fount of knowledge. 1/6 page sizes Ambar La Forgia Selmaan Chettih Printing Advisor Professional Duplicating Jeff Lott 30 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 M A RC H 2 0 0 8 / T H E N IGH T C A F É 31 . and I prayed that this mas. Beyond the mammoth world of music. that no one could hear had his work exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Museum and Alice Xiang ’10 is an international student who’s spent alities of our world is not one that I am them. Tractor sketch comedy group. He Marina Tempelsman ’10 is a big fan of Workbox. Vishnu? The great god Cthulhu his lifelong passion. she plans to become a Nathan Wainstein ’11 is tall. I respected how tron of the eternally confused? Or sician/songwriter. and the emptiness. I still couldn’t practice Catholi. He once had a story printed in even-headed about such complex is. who lies in R’leigh dreaming? The Louis Jargow ’10 is a potential Honors Theater major nity officer and member of the rugby team. and every night my last his statements otherwise. For now. and wrong. the Spectator. spective minor in World Literature. but I couldn’t agree with her on matters. She Even as I struggled to appease night before I went to sleep. I hated wake up late on Sunday mornings. “home” is the noisy. God. I continued was enough. celestial pa. But I did. and is currently inordinately fond of green Stuyvesant High School’s newspaper. Josh Cohen ’09 has been published on the Internet and Jonathan Stafstrom ’10 is a serious bicyclist. in bed with my eyes shut and my fiddler for the electro-folk band Thomas Mantell and the Café. He has * * * tion that cannot accept the physical re. He does like dinosaurs. its influence over me. and two committees. cities and or something did. Everything must be true. He also worked at a sues. most of her life hopping between continents. things that you believed in. Political Science minor.

32 T H E N IGH T C A F É / M A RC H 2 0 0 8 .