Friday, September 13, 2013

The Monosyllabic Palahniuk Series

As promised, here are the monosyllabic titles of Chuck Palahniuk:

I suppose Doomed and Damned are technically only one syllable too. But they are longer words, and don't go with the four to five letter titles I chose. Plus, I've already read these books, and I haven't read Doomed or Damned. Like my Vonnegut Fortitude and DeLillo White Noise pieces, these are personal projects, not commissioned by anyone. I've been a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk's writing for a long time, and lately I've been having a good time basing personal projects around books and stories. These are strictly for fun, and exercising the creative muscles that tend to atrophy if they're not flexed in new and different ways than they're used to working.

Choke, from the overview: "Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park."

 My idea for this one came fairly quickly. Using the fork prongs to double as legs, positioned in a very suggestive manner, dawned on me almost immediately.

Rant, from the overview: "A high school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his small hometown of Middleton for the big city. He becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. On appointed nights participants recognize one another by such designated car markings as "Just Married" toothpaste graffiti and then stalk and crash into each other. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. Their collected anecdotes explore the possibility that his saliva caused a silent urban plague of rabies and that he found a way to escape the prison of linear time..."

This image took a bit longer to get to. I was going back and forth on which themes or bits of the story to reference for a while. I was pretty much stuck on the "biohazard" symbol, and wanted to include it in some way. I finally noticed that it looks a lot like a steering wheel, and made a great vehicle (pun intended) for implying Rant's involvement in Party Crashing- and the fact that he may or may not have used his car as a way to time travel into the past.

Snuff, from the overview: "Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera. With six hundred men. Snuff unfolds from the perspectives of Mr. 72, Mr. 137, and Mr. 600, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room. This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last."

This idea also came fairly quickly. I was initially toying with images of movie cameras, clapperboards, boom mikes, and beds. Then I started thinking about how the 600 men were waiting in line for their... uh, turn, thought about "take a number" tabs, and how they almost look like the droopy tip of a condom. If you're not familiar with the book, Mr. 600, a former porn star himself, shaves his pubes.

I've heard Chuck Palahniuk's writing described as minimalist. He  has a utilitarian way of constructing his prose. I wanted this series to reflect the simplicity and minimalism of his writing style.

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