"Quanta...like spit in the dust of a baseball field" - Cody

September 25, 2003

Pomo Homo? Oh no...

I can't sleep tonight. This means I drank too much caffeine today. But more importantly, it means my imagination is a naked lady running through the streets singing, while her husband, my inner critic, has fallen asleep after too much wine.

In 2006, The Domain, Cody Sisco's first published novel, was hailed as a literary classic by his friend Sean Keane*. This interview represents the first comments the author has made about his renowned book.

SK: Your book is about animals. Extraordinary.

CS: It is extraordinary. In the true sense of the word. The animals talk. They are intelligent. And they are not always eating each other or pursuing their beastly urges, although there is some of that for the sake of veracity.

SK: It's a remarkable book. And it is quite timely considering the United States involvement in the African Regional War. How much does the idea of empire affect your writing?

CS: I'd say a tremendous amount, if I were writing instead of speaking, since I tend to sound vaguely British on the page. It affects my writing a lot. All along I knew a was writing an allegory that could be aptly compared to the Roman conquests two thousand years ago, the British colonialism two centuries ago, or the current global domination by the United States.

SK: Some people say that the main character, who is a rhinoceros--of all the creatures!-- and an heir to the ruling family, they say that he resembles our current President, G.W. Bush.

CS: (smiling mischievously) I've heard people make that comparison. It's true that both Tuffy and Bush Jr. came to power thanks to their families. That both engaged in substance abuse (although the rhinoceros did not do so voluntarily) and that afterwards they entered a period of recovery. Also, that the appearance of virility is important to both of them.

SK: The rhinoceros and the President?

CS: Yes.

SK: Just checking. What are your thoughts about the state of literature? Where is it going?

CS: That's a tough one. I think we are in a period of Literary Recovery. All that talk about postmodernism was coming out of a sense of disorientation, of weightlessness. I think writers now are trying to ground themselves. They are working from self-knowledge and core values. Self-consciousness is part of the whole, but it's no longer enough to carry a work through. There's got to be more to it.

SK: So if this interview were able to move past a postmodernist predicament, I wouldn't need to disclaim any resemblance to the real Sean Keane.

CS: No. It wouldn't matter. Besides it's just not very interesting for the reader.

SK: When does your book--a fascinating tall tale full of animals and--What?

CS: Metaphysical explorations and political commentary.

SK: A fascinating tall tale full of animals, metaphysical explorations, and political commentary. It becomes available...Well, I guess that would be when you finish it, right?

CS: Are we back in 2003 now? Okay. Yes. It's only half finished, and the ending is going to be a bit tricky. But once it's complete, I'm sure it will be available at least one place on the Internet.

SK: Well it was great having you here.

CS: No. That's my line. It was great have you here.

SK: Well, thank you.

CS: One more thing: when you post comments, it could get a bit tricky.

SK: Is the tape still on?

CS: Oh damn!--

* Note: Sean Keane, as he appears in this blog entry, is not the real Sean Keane. He is a character created without permission or license. He is simply a character based on a real person, written as the writer thinks a character based on the person should be written. The character, much like the real person, knows literature, and is therefore the perfect character to conduct the imagined interview.

P.S. I'm going to try to sleep again. If I can't sleep, then I'll be back to write a letter to Dan Small for all the world to read. In that case, I'll probably take out this postscript, which means...

Posted by cbsisco at September 25, 2003 01:32 AM

Man, that blew my mind...

Posted by: Kristina at September 25, 2003 01:09 PM

But did it blow your head off?

Posted by: cody at September 25, 2003 01:50 PM

Thanks for having me there.

I agree that literature is likely to move away from a lot of the current, ever-present post-modernist stuff. It's just such an easy device a lot of the time, and I think, as you said, fairly uninteresting for readers. Eventually, people are going to get sick of reading stories about writers and their anxieties about writing. If there's a larger point to be made, or some kind of greater literary or social perspective, that can be interesting (Paul Auster's "City of Glass"). Too often, it seems like pomo is a crutch for not having a story, or being able to figure out an ending (Kaufman and Jonze's "Adaptation").

Posted by: sean at September 25, 2003 02:31 PM

what sean said, i mean the last thing sean said. and also the first thing sean said. extraordinary. when are you moving here?

Posted by: didofoot at September 29, 2003 01:29 PM