Re: RARA-AVIS: James Loftus

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 13 Apr 2004

Don wrote:

"I was trying to find his email address to ask him about where one might look for some of the guy's books, but now I want to find out for sure if it's a hoax or not; if so, it's extremely well done."

A character in O'Connell's Box Nine frequented a mystery bookstore. He and the guy who owned the store had different taste in mysteries. One liked traditional mysteries, the other hardboiled, however, neither knew what to make of "Deco Noir," a new genre out of France that was basically a series of random acts of violence. Although I was pretty sure that this was a literary in-joke about postmodernism (especially considering the way O'Connell plays with lingistics and structuralism in that book), I started searching for them. I thought that if they didn't exist, they should. I picked up some later Robbe-Grillet, read a book called Cherokee, etc. (I forget the author). Manchette had not yet been translated; I could see him writing something like that. I even asked about the alleged genre on this list once a long time ago.

Later, O'Connell surprised me with an email thanking me for some comments I had made here praising his work. I figured this was my chance and asked him about Deco Noir. Alas, he confirmed it was a joke. Of course, this is not nearly the same scale as inventing an author, along with bibliography, but proof that O'Connell will perpetrate literary invention.


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