Artists who manage to get some exposure, at the very least, have to deal with the public. At the very worst, they end up in Hell.
Hell may come in the form of smarmy agents, sycophantic students, bad film scripts or journalists with ulterior motives.
There are lights at the end of the tunnel, albeit, peculiar ones: whether it is the solace that a struggling actor finds in impersonating the kind of cop he used to play on television or a philosophy based entirely on food which one ancient teacher adopts.
Some manna from heaven proves to be full of worms, however, as it is with one man admitted to a ‘hospital’ which turns out to be a strange prison run by subterranean authorities. As bookstores around the world close and the human race stops reading, God sits in Heaven with a representative of man as they negotiate on what to do about it.
Ultimately, the stories in this book form a whole which deals with what it means to be an artist in a blood-hungry world driven by its need for entertainment, pleasure and its neurotic tendency to destroy its own idols.
Shane Eide is a part-time hermit, part-time flaneur, which means that he is either spending time on literary pursuits or taking walks and thinking about literary pursuits. He lives in a little room walled with books and sleeps near a big desk, on which he doesn't write since all the quiet is too distracting. He usually goes someplace noisy in order to write as much about fiction as he writes fiction. He's been writing fiction since he was about 11, in which time he's written several novels that he never intends to publish and which no one will ever see, and several others that he wants to publish that he's read out loud to his gold fish. He's been writing what he supposes would be called non-fiction ever since he wrote "Shane was here," in easily erasable pencil on a desk in junior high. You can read his essays and occasional fiction at his blog, www.emergenthermit.com
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