twenty grand by rebecca curtis

i like this book, it is rebecca curtis' first book, a story-collection; you can read some of the stories online (big bear, california; the wolf at the door; twenty grand; the alpine slide; the witches)

some books if i haven't read them in a while i get urges to want to read them; the amount of time until i get urges is between like a few months, or less, and around a year, and i think continues at least five years and maybe something like forty years or until i die (some of the books below i think i like more each time i read them)

a complete list i think of story-collections which i feel this way about is taking care, escapes, and honored guest by joy williams; shiloh and other stories by bobbie ann mason; break it down by lydia davis; like life by lorrie moore; collected stories by richard yates; distortions by ann beattie; the task of this translator by todd hasak-lowy; twenty grand by rebecca curtis (also i feel like this about stories by me and individual other stories including ones listed here or posted here)


mississippi review all-fiction issue


tao lin promotional post (part nineteen)

*video and goat noises by alex carnevale

review of e.e.e. & bed in philadelphia citypaper

intern #3 blogged about being paid for his internship with a prostitute


sex reading july 2nd

sex reading at mcnally robinson; i read this sex story


go talk kind-hearted shit in the comments section

of this post on gawker about e.e.e.

i think it will sell copies if there is a lot of shit-talking, misleading information, and lies in the comments section especially if you say things about elijah wood, salman rushdie, benjamin kunkel, and maybe wong kar-wai or paris hilton or mcsweeney's or something

units will be moved, into people's hands, the fingers of human beings will hold the books and the books will be placed onto piles on top of yo la tengo cds in apartments in williamsburg, greenpoint, lower manhattan, the upper west side, the upper east side, and like people in argentina who read gawker, their hands will also hold the books

shit-talking promotes buying books i think

i think gawker editors get paid more if they reach a certain amount of hits (jessica coen spoke to my journalism class once and said she got paid $2000 a month but that they were implementing something where the more hits they got the more they would get paid, or something)

so if a tao lin-post generates hits and comments they will make more tao lin-posts

gawker is not a publicly-owned corporation and so is not existentially required to increase profits, so maybe they won't make more tao lin-posts

the choice is theirs

they will feel pressured if they live in shitty apartments or can't afford earrings

they might feel that if a tao lin-post can generate as many hits as an angelina jolie's ass-post they would prefer to make a tao lin-post, i don't know

also you should email emily gould (emily [at] gawker.com) saying the jane magazine clip is blurry

that is unprofessional

blurry is unprofessional

i tried to comment there but it didn't work

i think me getting shit-talked on gawker is like taking money away from the gap, banana republic, nbc, abc, mtv, people magazine, the usa network, the new york times, the new republic, n+1 magazine, etc. and giving the money to angelica kitchen, pure food and wine, lifethyme, think coffee, melville house, mooshoes, some homeless people, st. marks bookshop, and other independent bookstores (go here for complete list)

therefore to many of you it is your moral imperative to go shit-talk in the comments section


cash money all-stars 2007

email me if you want to give me a teaching job

can i get a teaching job without a master's degree? what universities are receptive to letting people teach creative writing without a master's degree? can anyone 'hook me up' with a university creative writing teaching job?


duane reade is sponsoring my books

look for the sticker (pictured right) on most manhattan duane reade locations

i think they said the stickers will be on the front door next to the handle but that they might put them somewhere else also

for now to get my books at duane reade you need to special order them from the prescription counter

later on there will be a special display near the shampoos in front and i think they'll be offering a 10% discount

isolated starbucks, swatch, urban outfitters, citibank, hsbc, whole foods, bank of america locations, and mta nyc transit trains (see photo left) are also sponsoring my books; thank you duane reade, starbucks, swatch, urban outfitters, citibank, hsbc, whole foods, bank of america, and mta nyc transit

i'm also in negotiations with starbucks for them to cover their entire front doors (select lower manhattan locations) with the stickers


tao lin promotional post (part seventeen)

review of e.e.e. & bed in rain taxi by spencer dew

reviews of e.e.e. & bed in publishers weekly (below)
Tao Lin. Melville House, $15 paper (212p) ISBN 9781933633251
Poet and blogger Lin¹s debut novel uneasily documents the life of Andrew, a recent college graduate working at Domino¹s Pizza while over-analyzing every aspect of his life: past, present and futureless. He drives through the suburbs reminiscing about college life in New York and his ex-girlfriend, stopping occasionally to express his boredom to his best friend Steve. When at one point, Andrew states that he wants to ³wreak complex and profound havoc² upon capitalist establishments such as McDonald¹s, it feels like Lin is attempting the same kind of attack on organized art. The novel, while short on plot, makes abrupt shifts in setting and point of view, and is pierced throughout by celebrity cameos and surreal touches: bears, dolphins (who say ³Eeeee Eee Eeee² to express emotion, in spite of their ability to speak like humans), Salman Rushdie, and the president make grandiose declarations that are heavily saturated with the same sardonic wit displayed by Andrew and his friends. The novel dips dangerously into metafiction, with Andrew in the middle of ³writing a book of stories about people who are doomed.² The characters¹ repetitive thoughts and conversations become strangely hypnotic, however, and Lin¹s sympathetic fascination with the meaning of life is full of profound and often hilarious insights. (May)
BED: Stories
Tao Lin. Melville House, $15 paper (296p) ISBN 9781933633268
This set of nine pseudo-autobiographical, woe-is-our-generation absurdist tales updates Oblamov for worried 21st century slackerdom. Lin’s characters will be familiar to MySpace denizens, whether they’re struggling through college in a busy city, stifling in an exhausted relationship just for the body heat, or missing their parents (but not knowing how to tell them without sounding as if asking for money). Settings are cheekily vague: “Love Is A Thing On Sale For More Money Than Exists,” about a much-needed break-up, takes place during “the month that people began to suspect terrorists had infiltrated Middle America,” while “Nine, Ten,” a love story about two nine-year-olds and their divorced parents, occurs during the year that people “got a bit careless.” As precocious children, depressing descriptions of urban pollution and beached marine life pile up, it becomes clear that Lin’s subject is the inadequacy of conventional tools and wisdom for coping with the era of the War on Terror: “Was the future now? Or was it coming up still?... all that was promised… was not here, and would probably never be here. They had lied. Someone had lied.” Such observations make the flat, matter-of-fact prose and aimless pop culture references come into vivid focus. (May)


al gore's first diet


tao lin promotional post (part sixteen)

gmail chat interview at beatbots *warning* *kurt vonnegut paperback being held up in a cafe*

tao lin day (discuss here) at dennis cooper's blog with poems by justin taylor and a story about the book expo of america

thank you tony and dennis and justin for tao lin day

tao lin youtube mixed cd with comments from tao lin


the nearly-severely depressed bird

The nearly-severely depressed bird has many interests. She enjoys making smoothies; drawing different foods she has eaten; packaging things to send to other birds; stealing from corporations; supporting independent, vegan, organic restaurants and grocery stores; and adhering to an organic vegan diet low in non-fruit carbohydrates, high in nuts and seeds and raw produce, and free of sugar and other refined foods. Each night she stands in her nest for two hours thinking of things she can do the next day, and neatly writes each activity in a 3 1/2" by 5" ruled Moleskine journal she stole from Barnes and Noble by putting five of them on her head and flying away calmly.

The bird reads for about one hour each night before sleep. She reads mostly graphic novels, books on veganism and ethics, fiction by writers who write from an existential point of view without being dramatic about it, and non-fiction books about birds that have been marginalized in society at least twice–once by the mainstream and at least once by a subculture. Tonight the bird who is nearly but not at all severely depressed reads from a book called The Mole Birds about birds who can't afford to pay for a nest and also (for different reasons including shame, a lack of sense of belonging, and constantly being raped, beaten, or harassed) have been alienated from the aboveground nestless bird population, and now live underground.

"Carlos and Frank met in an apricot tree, where Frank, who is a large eighteen-year-old from New Jersey, was hustling," reads the bird in a quiet monotone inside her head. "Frank lost more money than he had, and Carlos helped him escape, by creating an apricot obfuscation. Since Frank had no place to sleep, Carlos took him to the hole. Frank has lived there three weeks, and each day says that he does not intend to 'live in this dirty hole for another day.' Carlos has lived with nine other birds in the hole for over fourteen months. 'I'm afraid of being lonely,' Carlos says, 'scared to find no one there. I know I'm living down there partly because I'm afraid of going to a nest and being by myself.'" The bird puts the book down and goes to sleep.

The next night the bird who is not at all depressed but is almost always very close, she feels, to experiencing severe depression and crippling loneliness opens her Moleskine notebook. She picks up a red pen she stole from Harvard and writes, "Clean nest ten minutes." She stares at her Moleskine journal for thirty minutes and then writes, "Find ferret and pet it with my wing." Five minutes later she writes, "Drink orange smoothie." She stares at the Moleskine. Forty minutes later she writes, "Mail five sticks to five birds." The bird sits. She looks at her pile of books. She picks a graphic novel called "Bighead" by Jeffrey Brown. She reads and sometimes grins at the drawings, and the dialogue, but also feels very nervous and like she might cry because though she currently does not feel bad she is very aware of the possibility of feeling very bad. It is a feeling like she is metaphysically "surrounded by endless shit."

The shit isn't touching her but it is near her, in a precarious way, like she is standing on a small wooden raft in a small room and the walls and ceiling are made of shit and the raft is floating on liquid shit. It is very difficult to balance on the raft to prevent it from becoming slanted. But the raft almost never becomes slanted, and when it does become slanted the bird always recovers. The bird has never fallen into the endless shit, because though it is very difficult and requires a lot of energy and focus to balance on the raft the bird does it existentially, meaning it is a kind of work, the bird feels, that is done at once automatically, deliberately, carefully, without fail, without reprieve, and without choice.


tao lin promotional post (part fifteen)

review of granta's best of young american novelists (part two) by tao lin

new poem by tao lin


my reading in cambridge

I will blog about my reading at Cambridge. Before the reading I ate at "Buddha Delight" with my friend. "Buddha Delight" is a dirty vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Chinatown in Boston. My friend ordered something that looked both clean and dirty. I ordered something that looked calm and dirty. Three people who looked a little dirty came in and sat at an adjacent table and one of them ordered Coke. The Coke looked very clean but I knew it was probably the dirtiest thing in the restaurant.

At the bookstore a man shook my hand and went to the podium and read an essay about my books. He said something about the book covers. So far he didn't talk shit about me yet. I was glad. He quoted Nietszche in my favor. He talked about my blog. Then he began to say something that sounded like he was talking shit about my writing. I felt confused. He continued to talk shit about my writing then said something like, "But you won't," which changed all the previous shit-talking into complete and unqualified praise. "Oh, good," I thought. The man was about fifty-five or sixty years old I think. "I am very glad that person likes my books, because he is around sixty years old and is a small person and he looks nice, he doesn't look like an asshole, he looks like he has felt loneliness and depression before but isn't dramatic but just nice and calm," I thought nervously.

I read The Moose and the Gerbil and the Confused Manatee. I read The Existentially Fucked Megamouth Shark. I read an excerpt from EEEEE EEE EEEE. "I am finished," I said. I sat in a chair. I said, "Where is the host? Now what?" An old man in the audience not the host said, "Take questions." I went back to the podium. People asked me questions.

After the reading my friend I and went to American Apparel and stood there for a very long time. Outside Asians stared at me because I was Asian. "Asians have pride," my friend said. I stared at the Asians with the indifference of the universe but they continued to stare at me with racial pride because focusing on abstract categorizations of human beings is an effective tool against existential despair. "All the white people here are obese," I said. "Am I obese," my friend said. John Updike called my cell phone. "Hi," I said. "I fell down, I need your help," John Updike said. I hung up. "John Updike fell down, should we go help him?" I said to my friend. "Okay," she said. We went to John Updike's house. He was hitting golf balls in the front yard. "I thought you fell down," I said.

John Updike swung his golf club around over his head a lot of times. He let go. The golf club went on the roof of his mansion. "I'm okay," he said. "I'm just depressed. I don't know. I just need to play some golf. Or something. I just need to go swimming I think. I feel better after I swim. And get my crotch rubbed by my gardener, Yolanda. Don't be an ass about it. My wife knows. It's the same as cutting my hair or washing my feet. What's the difference between my crotch and my feet? Do you want me to prove it's the same in a 10,000 word essay in The New York Times? I can't. I won't do that. My literary agent wouldn't allow it. Knopf wouldn't allow it. The parent company of Knopf wouldn't allow The New York Times to publish it. Barnes and Noble wouldn't allow Knopf to allow The New York Times to publish it because Rupert Murdoch wouldn't allow them to allow that. It would alienate 99% of my readership. Did you know I am a raw vegan and that I attended seven Leftover Crack concerts last year wearing $10,000 retail value of make-up and prosthetics each time? You don't. No one does. It would alienate 99% of my readership. Did you know I keep forty manatees in an underground water tank below my mansion and that twice a week I ride a submarine with a machine gun-equipped turret on top of it inside the tank and shoot at the manatees aiming for their backsides with bullets coated with SARS from close-range and then nurse them back to health but only 50% health so that each time their level-of-health is halved to relieve boredom? You don't know. You don't know how fucked I am. You think I'm just this person who isn't even fucked. No. I am fucked. I am very fucked."


heidi james shit on noah cicero's UK debut

THE HUMAN WAR by Noah Cicero came out in the UK yesterday and it has already been shit on.

The review is here.

I will paste the review below and type about each sentence.

First some observations about the review.

Every sentence in the review uses abstractions or "terms" (which are "received ideas," meaning the meaning has come from someone else or from society and not directly from concrete reality) rather than concrete specifics. The abstractions and "terms" are not defined in the review. When a person does this they are implying that they possess the only subjective experience in the universe. They are implying that they have exact definitions in their heads of phrases or words like "prose poetry," "adolescent," "angst," "nonsense," and "post-modern apathy" and then they are imposing that definition onto the rest of the universe.

It is like someone coming up to you saying, "You are a terrible piece of shit."

Most people would say or think, "Why?"

Heidi James' review is saying, "The Human War is nonsense."

So I think many people are thinking, "Why?"

(Though probably many or some people will just accept as a "received idea" that "The Human War is nonsense.")

Heidi James doesn't quote from the book. She doesn't define her abstractions. Heidi James is answering the question "Why is The Human War Nonsense" with "Because The Human War is nonsense." She is implying that she is the only conscious and perceiving entity in the universe.

Most people anticipate the question, "Why?" and so do not go up to another person and say, "You are a terrible piece of shit," but instead say something like, "You said you would meet me in the park and you didn't show up. Therefore [because you don't do what you say] you are a terrible piece of shit."

The sentences in THE HUMAN WAR mostly do not even say, "You are a terrible piece of shit," but only say, "You said you would meet me in the park and you didn't show up."

It uses mostly only concrete specifics. It is the opposite of Heidi James' review.

When a person uses only concrete specifics they are not imposing their experience of the universe onto you (or rather they are minimizing the imposition, since even a tree or a park, though concrete, is experienced differently by two different people; for example I could say "tree" and someone, though unlikely, could think I was talking about a "dog" or something). They are allowing the possibility that both you and they are conscious beings with different experiences of the universe. You can go up to that person and say, "I like red flowers," and they can say, "I like green flowers," and then you and that person can talk about something else without fighting.

It is the same with art. Books are like colors. People like different colors.


I will type about the sentences in the review now.
The Human War — a short book written as a combination of prose poetry/dialogue, which therefore gives each and every sentence an elaborate, rhythmic yet dissonant weight.
Abstractions or "terms" in that sentence that are not defined are "prose poetry," "elaborate," "rhythmic," "dissonant," and "weight."
This significance to each staccato line betrays the protagonist’s adolescent angst as a meagre hysterical rant that rebuffs the reader’s close attention (perhaps intentionally), whilst mirroring the narrator’s alienation.
Abstractions or "terms" in that sentence that are not defined are "significance," "staccato," "adolescent," "angst," "meagre," "hysterical," "rant," "reader's close attention," "alienation."
However, this is a tired existential nonsense, and I dispute the lazy comparisons of this work with Beckett — whilst it’s true Cicero’s characters witter on without dynamic or conclusion — this is merely a facile aping of Beckett’s revelation of the human condition written in weary tropes.
Abstractions or "terms" in that sentence that are not defined are "tired," "existential," "nonsense," "lazy," "facile," "the human condition," "weary," "tropes."
If this book is intended as a synecdoche for Western society then I am afraid it is disappointingly successful, and perhaps that is my problem with this work, whilst personally shunning redemptive novels this small reflection of Post-Modern apathy is just too lacking in poetry or revelation to raise it from the lowest common denominator and frankly I can watch reality TV if I need a fix of that.
Abstractions or "terms" in that sentence that are not defined are "synecdoche," "Western society," "successful," "Post-Modern apathy," "poetry," "revelation," "lowest common denominator," "reality TV."

If someone keeps saying, "You are a terrible piece of shit," to you and doesn't tell you what you did in concrete reality that made them think that how would you react?

Post your answer in the comments section.

Thank you.

It is 4:27 a.m.

I recommend Noah's book.

I have read it three or four times and I like it.

I read probably 2% of the books I have read more than once.

I was just a little confused because I thought, "What if Heidi James is just saying she doesn't like Noah's book, isn't that just like saying she doesn't like the color red, or something?"

But I don't think she is saying that.

The review doesn't say "To me" or "I think" or "I like" or "I don't like."

It is not, "I think you are a terrible piece of shit," or "To me, you are a terrible piece of shit." It is, "You are a terrible piece of shit," stated as a fact. She is not saying that she does not like the book. She is saying that the book should not be liked. Remember: this is not "good" or "bad" because "good" and "bad" do not exist until a context and a goal has been established and I did not establish a context or a goal in this post.


tao lin promotional post (part fourteen)

interview on 'what to wear during an orange alert?'

on the cruelest month

youtube mixed cd


the giantest link post

noah cicero's the human war is out in the united kingdom from snowbooks (excerpts here and here)

gene morgan's meaninglessness essay

tony o'neill (in sunglasses here) was interviewed by the gothamist (tony is reading june 21st at mcnally robinson with a person convicted of killing two cops and blurbed by kurt vonnegut)

james chapman is now on a vegan diet and i think isn't eating any oils

in the center of that red chaos and synchronized diving by mazie louise montgomery

ellen kennedy, tony, noah, me, ned vizzini, and zachary german are reading june 28th at kgb (3 am magazine party night)

i am accepting applications to be one of my interns; your job will be to buy eeeee eee eeee from st. marks bookshop with your own money until it becomes their #1 bestseller (email binky.tabby [at] gmail.com)

the title of my next novel is the statutory rape of dave eggers by al gore (ellen kennedy helped me with that title; we were at st. marks bookshop and i said, 'i should have titled my book "dave eggers" so it would say dave eggers on the cover,' and she said, 'you should name "statutory rape" "the statutory rape of dave eggers,"' and i said, 'is al gore better or dave eggers?' and she said, 'the statutory rape of dave eggers by al gore')

if a novel called the statutory rape of dave eggers by al gore existed there would be less depression and loneliness in the world

thank you ellen kennedy

good job

the title of this post was 'inspired' by ellen kennedy's 'the obesest hamster' which you can look at on jobless bitch (below the masthead)

i want to do a performance art show where people who have never been in an orgy before get bags tied around their heads on stage and wear blindfolds and then have an orgy on stage

i am accepting applications to be one of my interns who will submit that sentence to the scholastic aptitude tests board of directors for inclusion in their tests as an 'if... then' question (email binky.tabby [at] gmail.com)

william stobb will talk about bed on the radio in wisconsin on june 16th

i am reading in cambridge on june 11th and in baltimore on june 21st with paul hornschemeier

someone told me that ed park, an editor of the believer, said on a panel at the book expo of america that some people aren't 'getting the attention they deserve' 'because they are writing shorter books' and then someone asked him to name some people and ed park said, 'tao lin'

thank you ed park

we are both asian

the new york times won't review my books

an elijah wood fan read e.e.e.


tao lin promotional post (part thirteen)

i posted one story and one table of contents from bed here

siren magazine published a poem from you are a little bit happier than i am (thank you ryan laks)

a fence defeated a bear



tao lin promotional post (part twelve)

review of e.e.e. & bed by jen penkethman for hipster book club

eeeee eee eeee is on page 32 of the current jane magazine with zooey deschanel on the cover; miranda july says it is an odd book by tao lin in which a dolphin says 'eeeee eee eeee' then gets pushed off a building (paraphrase)


melville house promotional post part two

dennis loy johnson interview with tao lin


tao lin promotional post (part eleven)

review of e.e.e. by stephen mitchelmore

review of you are a little bit happier than i am by mike young



i am cult fiction in britain

ass shits
*photo copyright chris killen


tao lin promotional post (part ten)

interview in 3 a.m. magazine with justin dobbs *sexually-explicit* *strong language*

pirooz m. kalayeh made a documentary that includes my bear poem


i am reading in seattle and california

sun july 29 new yipes! oakland
mon july 30 moe's, berkeley
tues july 31 elliott bay, seattle
wed aug 1 university bookstore, seattle

email me if you want to interview me while i am there for the stranger or something


the existentially fucked megamouth shark

read about him in the mississippi review


tao lin promotional post (part nine)

review of e.e.e. & bed in stop smiling

review of e.e.e. & bed by zachary schomburg (the man suit)

sad bear vs happy cobra


the moose and the gerbil and the confused manatee

The Moose

The moose is forthcoming in the New Yorker but feels only agony when he thinks about it because his short story was edited to the point that he believes "it is a completely different story and it's a story I would talk shit about after reading the first paragraph and I would probably read the rest of the story just so I could talk shit about it with more authority for the next ten years." Sometimes at night the moose goes outside into woods to headbutt trees while crying and kicking its back legs and thinking, "What is the function of art?!" The moose's life partner says to "look at the art, not the artist," which makes the moose feel even more confused and alienated and also less attracted to its life partner. The moose is brown with black eyes. It lives in a studio apartment in Alaska and is a senior editor at Riverhead.

The Gerbil

The gerbil is an aspiring writer who just discovered the online writing community Zoetrope. It has completed three short stories but is unsure which to post for feedback because all three of the stories are autobiographical and the gerbil has read many disapproving comments about autobiographical stories. The gerbil has apricot-colored hair and often feels alienated from its peers despite having almost always received only praise for its "kind-hearted nature," "beautifully-proportioned body and head," and "quirky sense of humor." Its only friend is a middle-aged basking shark who lives 4000 miles away in Norway who the gerbil met one Christmas in a chatroom for anonymous sex in Seattle. The gerbil lives in a four-person apartment in Greenpoint.

The Confused Manatee

The confused manatee wakes at 3 p.m. most days and beings writing at 10 p.m. after drinking an iced double espresso with soymilk. The confused manatee is unemployed. She has been rejected from Harper's, Ploughshares, A Public Space, Eclectica, Mad Hatter's Review, Pindeldyboz, Hobart, McSweeney's, Mid-American Review, Noon, Conjunctions, Thieve's Jargon, Coconut, Octopus, Word Riot, Eyeshot, Elimae, and Juked. The confused manatee's hobbies include finding secluded areas and staring at them, supergluing posters that say "closed for animal cruelty" on the windows of vegan restaurants, and pushing seaweed into giant floating piles and then swimming away nervously.


since all goals in life are based on equally-arbitrary assumptions

my new goal is to be #1 bestseller at st. marks bookshop every week for the rest of my life

once i am not #1 i will just kill myself

i promise that i will really kill myself


tao lin promotional post (part eight)

interview on gothamist

review of e.e.e. by steve schirra

review of e.e.e. on theonering.net

a bear is on youtube


tao lin promotional post (part seven)

review of e.e.e. & bed by susan tomaselli

review of e.e.e by amy ross

interview with jeb gleason-allured *IN REAL LIFE* *RARE*

you can now buy e.e.e. & bed from melville house


marco roth, chapter one

i'm writing a novel called 'marco roth' (summary)

in real life marco roth is an editor of n+1 magazine, in 'marco roth' marco roth is a human being who is in a relationship with dakota fanning and internet friends with haley joel osment

[read at the mississippi review; *update* i changed 'marco roth' to 'tao lin']

that is chapter one

marco roth is going to behead me probably on n+1 television, that is okay

here are two drawings of marco roth (naked and with n+1 t-shirt and n+1 totebag)

i saw him once at an n+1 party and this is what he looks like

the drawings are from memory so might not be completely accurate

*warning* the benjamin kunkel who commented in the comments section is not the 'real' benjamin kunkel


tao lin promotional post (part six)

feature in time out new york

excerpt of e.e.e. on econoculture

a 'scathingly optimistic yet acidly cautious, straightforwardly ambivalent, and ultimately, refreshingly, intimately, and authoritatively antidisestablishmentarianist' review of e.e.e. in las vegas city life by tod goldberg

official melville house tao lin page on melville house's web site


melville house publishing promotional post (part one)

dennis loy johnson interview at econoculture (whose books section is edited by justin taylor)

dennis loy johnson interview at cruelest month

dennis loy johnson interview at ploughshares' blog

dennis loy johnson's acceptance speech for the miriam bass award

dennis loy johnson and valerie merians are the founders of melville house

new novel called 'marco roth'

the novel will be a normal novel with three characters

haley joel osment, dakota fanning, and marco roth

marco roth will have as much dialogue as the other people but the only things he will say will be 'Contrary to what you may believe, I am not one of your fictional characters,' 'The question is: do you intend to apologize?' and 'Do we all take dictation from Karl Rove now?'

may 2010, melville house publishing


tuesday night n+1 internet literary drama between two hamsters

Marco Roth of n+1 magazine emailed me tonight about this interview.

I will paste our correspondence below and respond.

The parts in bold and in brackets are my responses, which were added after I pasted the original emails (links were also added later).
from Marco Roth
to Tao Lin
date May 8, 2007 7:39 PM
subject your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

Dear Tao,
Contrary to what you may believe, I am not one of your fictional characters. You know very well that we've never spoken on the phone and you know you never pitched us a piece about statutory rape. In the real world, we call this "lying." [You are right. We did not speak on the phone and I did not pitch n+1 a piece about statutory rape.] I can't say I understand your motives for doing it, but would be grateful to you if you apologized to me publicly. As for what you say about n+1, it's too vague to be called lying, but slander might be more appropriate. What evidence do you have about where our money goes? [I said, "N+1 claims to be political but they don't care, as far as I can tell, about where their money goes." I said "as far as I can tell," which means by what I know by reading your magazine, looking at your website, looking at what your editors have published and where they have published and what they have written and said in interviews, things like that.] What do you mean by that? As for "associating with corporations," well, don't we all? Do you mean that Kunkel is published by Random House and that I've written for the New York Times Corporation and take Rupert Murdoch's money when I write for the TLS? [I think that is some of it. I was 'building up' to my last thing, I think, which is that McSweeney's is political in action, based on what I know, while n+1 is political in words, based on what I know. I said, "McSweeney's doesn't talk about politics but by generating millions of dollars in cash and spending the cash independently, and supporting independent bookstores, and donating large piles of cash to charities and to funding their own non-profit organizations, they are very political, I think. They are political in action while n+1 is political in writing small essays at the front of their magazine."] What could this possibly have to do with our politics? Do you have any evidence that the things I write for Murdoch publications show slavish devotion to the Fox News line? And how do you square this with the book contract that launched the McSweeney's mighty empire or Eggers working at Esquire? [I'm talking about now. I don't understand why a person who seriously wants to "improve" the world would try to discredit someone by their past actions. If Eggers was just being published right now, his memoir, and he began to talk shit about an almost completely independent organization that donates entire books' proceeds (or profits) to charity, creates non-profit organizations, and almost never talks shit about anyone else, and then someone asked me in an interview what I thought about that I might say the same thing I did about n+1. And I think Eggers would maybe say something like, "I'm going to publish this memoir with a corporation, then with the money I get I'm going to start a giant independent publishing thing and use that to make money to fund charities, non-profit organizatons, and other things that I think are good, and that actually exist, in concrete reality. And then I would say, "Nice strategy. Clever." Or something.] I admit that I'm probably taking you too seriously here. But this kind of deadpan irony or post-ironic outright "untruthiness" doesn't do you any favors, and it doesn't do us any favors either. [I don't understand this sentence. What favors? Who are these favors coming from? Who are we fighting against? We are just hamsters.] n+1, too, is real and a real actor in the world. Please furnish us with hard evidence to back up what you say, or retract these statements too [I think my evidence is that McSweeney's doesn't talk shit about anyone. They have created giant non-profit 826 program, donated giant money to charity, and through The Believer and McSweeney's "changed" a lot of money from "money controlled by corporations" into "money controlled by independent organizations" (independent organizations meaning themselves, the independent bookstores they let get McSweeney's earlier, the independent bookstores, I think, they let get Egger's novel exclusively at first, etc.); and that n+1 talks shit about McSweeney's and hasn't done those things I just listed about McSweeney's]. There's no threat or sanction here, only a request from one person to another to deal honestly with those who deal honestly with you. Of course you may not care about other people's realities at all, and then we have a problem.
from Tao Lin
to Marco Roth
date May 8, 2007 8:56 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

okay. i will respond publicly soon. i was defending mcsweeney's. i don't like when people attack harmless things.

from Tao Lin
to Marco Roth
date May 8, 2007 9:02 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

can print your email and respond to all of it on my blog?
from Marco Roth
to Tao Lin
date May 8, 2007 9:02 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

Dear Tao,
So it's ok to attack the people who attack harmless things? [I didn't attack you. I stated observations. I did not say, "It is good to be political in action and not words." I did not use the words "Good," "Bad," "Evil," or "Better." I said that I think McSweeney's is this way, and n+1 is this way. Depending on your philosophy of life that can be good or bad, but I did not state a philosophy of life for those observations I made.] Does a Jain murder a man who steps on an ant? Or is this a personal code? I'm sure McSweeney's can take of care itself. And, let's clarify what you mean by "attack." There's a difference between critique and "attack." What we wrote about McSweeney's and the Believer was a fairly argued critique. You can dispute the arguments we make with counter-arguments, but it's a bit ridiculous to take the whole thing personally. To go to the political level here: turning simple criticism or disagreement into an "existential threat" is precisely the sort of thing the Republicans are so good at doing. Do we all take dictation from Karl Rove now? Is the best response to your opponents arguments an ad-hominem attack or lie or distortion? [I said, "I don't like when n+1 attacks things, especially when they attack McSweeney's. N+1 claims to be political but they don't care, as far as I can tell, about where their money goes. Cash money. They go through all mainstream media outlets, or something. They associate with corporations. McSweeney's doesn't talk about politics but by generating millions of dollars in cash and spending the cash independently, and supporting independent bookstores, and donating large piles of cash to charities and to funding their own non-profit organizations, they are very political, I think. They are political in action while n+1 is political in writing small essays at the front of their magazine."]
Just saw you sent another message, but this is not of course an attack and I hope you don't take it as such.

from Marco Roth
to Tao Lin
date May 8, 2007 9:04 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

The question is: do you intend to apologize? [I apologize. But I also do not understand the effect of an "apology" in concrete reality. (So typing that was meaningless for me.) It's the same as "respect" I think. It's like saying, "I want respect." Or, "I want frj39[9." Because it is an abstraction, and abstractions do not exist in concret reality, and abstract words effect much less agreement on the definitions of them between people than conrete words, which makes them less useful in concrete reality. But I apologize, because I said I would, and because now people can think more about what an "apology" is. Maybe the concrete and specific form of asking for an apology would be asking "Can you tell me you won't do that anymore" or "Can you tell me you feel bad at what you did" or something. But just saying "I'm sorry" doesn't convey concrete or specific informaion. (I'm lecturing myself now also because I know I've wanted people to "apologize" before.)] If so, you're welcome to make whatever use of my email you like, as you have in the past without my permission.
from Tao Lin
to Marco Roth
date May 8, 2007 9:09 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

i will respond soon. i'm not trying to attack anyone. i said mcsweeney's doesn't talk about politics but is political in what they do, in concrete reality, while n+1 talks about politics but, as much as i know, is not political in what they do. that isn't an attack, it's an observation. can i post these emails for context? i don't want to fight, just have discussion.
from Marco Roth
to Tao Lin
date May 8, 2007 9:22 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

Dear Tao,
THe observation about practice versus writing about politics is a fair grounds for discussion. The thing that I'd like to know is whether you'd like to apologize for lying in the interview. You haven't mentioned that yet. But, no, not a "fight" at all.
from Tao Lin
to Marco Roth
date May 8, 2007 9:23 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

yes, i will apologize. i'll say it wasn't true.
from Marco Roth
to Tao Lin
date May 8, 2007 9:29 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

Great. Thank you.

from Marco Roth
to Tao Lin
date May 8, 2007 9:38 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

Oh, and whatever you decide to do with emails, if they involve publication, I hope you'll suppress the address. thx, Marco
from Tao Lin
to Marco Roth
date May 8, 2007 9:40 PM
subject Re: your bookslut interview
mailed-by gmail.com

i have suppressed the addess. thank you.

Marco Roth is a species of domesticated white-tailed hamster common in the Southwest. He is an editor of n+1 magazine and lives in New York City.

Tao Lin is a gerbil-hamster hybrid species first bred in the 1980's by lonely scientists in Japan. He has been published in Elimae and Juked.


tao lin promotional post (part five)

review of e.e.e. by blake butler in bookslut

interview in bookslut with ned vizzini

essay on the nervous breakdown

photos of e.e.e. with my friends and family

i have readings in chicago at quimby's (may 9) and hopleaf (may 10)


tao lin promotional post (part four)

an exclusive gmail chat interview with noah cicero

a professional interview with kate greenstreet


tao lin promotional post (part three)

i have a medium-giant essay on my novel, eeeee eee eeee, on largeheartedboy

some of you are probably 'pissed' that i keep typing 'medium-giant' or 'giant'

i have a very giant interview with kathleen rooney in redivider

if you live far from stores or in another country you can order e.e.e. & bed from mcnally robinson (they ship worldwide) or unnameable books (20% off inside america); go here for a list of independent stores with e.e.e. & bed


tao lin promotional post (part two)

i have a podcast on edward champion's bat segundo show where i sound exactly like 'a little bitch' who is 'just trying to make it in the world' but will eventually be 'executed for no clear reason' on public access television

i have a medium-giant essay about my story-collection, bed, on largeheartedboy

tao lin promotional post (part one)

noah cicero is having eeeee eee eeee week (day 1 part 1; day 1 part 2; day 2; day 3) on his blog

eeeee eee eeee was reviewed by signe cluiss for the daily cougar

gherardo bortolotti translated my poems into italian ('the hamster is floating a little' became 'il porcellino d’india sta galleggiando un po’'; i'm going to say that in a pet store in italy then walk away)

salman rushdie wore a bearsuit and read my poems (with my permission)

go here to join a state-funded e.e.e. & bed discussion group


giant 'tao lin information for journalists' post

Tao Lin was born in 1983 in Virginia, grew up in Orlando, Florida, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Tao's parents were born in Taiwan. Tao has a B.A. in Journalism from New York University.

Tao Lin is the author of a story-collection, BED, and a novel, EEEEE EEE EEEE, that were published simultaneously by Melville House on May 15, 2007 in the first two-book story-collection/novel debut since Ann Beattie in 1976. Tao is also the author of a poetry collection, YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM, which was a bestseller (#4).

Tao Lin is a poetry editor for 3 am magazine. Tao's writing has been published by Noon, Nerve, Mississippi Review, Cincinnati Review, Other Voices, Fourteen Hills, Pindeldyboz, and Punk Planet.

Tao Lin is reading in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City in July, August, September, and October. Click here for specific information.

Feature, Time Out New York

Review, EEEEE EEE EEEE in ReadySteadyBook
Review, EEEEE EEE EEEE in Bookslut
Review, EEEEE EEE EEEE/BED in Rain Taxi
Review, EEEEE EEE EEEE/BED in Bookmunch
Review, EEEEE EEE EEEE/BED in Time Out Chicago
Review, EEEEE EEE EEEE/BED in Hipster Book Club

Interview, Bat Segundo (Podcast)
Interview, Publisher's Weekly
Interview, Bookslut
Interview, Litpark
Interview, 3am Magazine
Interview, Gothamist
Poem, "I'm Going To Touch You Very Hard"
Poem, "A Poem Written By A Bear"
Poem, "Some Of My Happiest Moments In Life Occur On AOL Instant Messenger"
Poem, "I Went Fishing With My Family When I Was Five"
Poem, "Ugly Fish Poem, Part One"

Story, "The Existentially Fucked Megamouth Shark"
Story, "Tao Lin"
Story, "Love is a Thing on Sale For More Money than There Exists"
Story, "Sex After Not Seeing Each Other For A Few Days"
Story, "Exactly What I Want"
Story, "Should"
Story, "Richie"
Story, "Go To The Beach"

Essay, Eeeee Eee Eeee (Largeheartedboy's Booknotes)
Essay, Bed (Largeheartedboy's Booknotes)
Essay, Cho Seung-Hui
Essay, Novel Writing
One Story's 2004 Short Story contest
Action Books' 2005 December Prize
New York University's 2005 Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize
Tao Lin posted his entire correspondence with Kevin Sampsell after Kevin Sampsell canceled the publication of Tao Lin's chapbook. Noah Cicero commented.

Tao Lin doesn't exist.

Tao Lin submitted the same story to more than one magazine and made a post called "Anti-Tao Lin Email" (in reference to a mass email that was circulating among editors saying something to the effect that Tao Lin had submitted the same story to more than one magazine) which recieved 100 comments and was shit-talked by Gawker.

Tao Lin was shit-talked by Gawker.


the asian haruki murakami

you can buy eeeee eee eeee and bed from the publisher or from these independent bookstores
st. marks bookshop (31 third avenue)
mcnally robinson (52 prince street; ships anywhere in the world)
three lives (154 west 10th street)
biography bookshop (400 bleecker street)
shakespear & co. (716 broadway @ washington place)

unnameable books (456 bergen street; ships anywhere in america 20% off)
bookcourt (163 court street)

seminary co-op bookstores (5757 south university avenue & 1301 east 57th street)
the book cellar (4736 north lincoln ave.)
quimby's (1854 w. north avenue)

atomic books (1100 west 36th street)
vertigo books (7346 baltimore avenue)

amherst books (8 main street)

harvard book store (1256 massachusetts ave.)

new haven
labyrinth books (290 york street)

powell's books (1000 west burnside)

university bookstore (4326 university way N.E.)
elliott bay book company (101 South Main Street)

barbara's bookstore "at macy's" (700 on the mall)

san francisco
green apple books (506 clement street)

pegasus (2349 shattuck ave.)

if you are an independent bookstore i didn't list but want me to please email me, i don't know about you, forgot you, or are not sure if you have my books; thank you moose and megamouth shark friends


the smart moose

In a small forest in Alaska a moose sharpens its antlers on a glacier. The moose cuts down five trees with its antlers and builds a canoe. The moose carries the canoe and beats a group of campers with it killing eight children, two adults, and an Inuit passerby. The moose stands in the canoe and arrives in Japan where for the last eighteen years it has been general manager at the Kyoto headquarters of Sony's ear piece department.


cho seung-hui's killing rampage

I am going to divide this essay into sections. This won't be a professional essay. It won't have an 'angle' or 'thesis,' but just many things I want to type about. I will title each section. I'm doing it this way so it will be more factual and less rhetorical and so I won't feel obligated to contrive to 'segue' from section to section and then come to a 'revelatory conclusion,' or something.

I also want to say that I feel sympathy with Cho Seung-Hui because I feel it naturally, because he was a person who suffered (I'm talking about his life), but also, and mostly, because anger, hatred, indifference, 'shock,' 'horror,' 'disbelief,' happiness, excitement, and any other 'state' I can think of would not do anything to prevent future situations (most of those I listed would probably cause more killing rampages) while sympathy, I think, is something that reduces pain and suffering, in the world, in any situation.

When I say I feel sympathy that does not mean I am glad he went on a killing rampage. It does not mean I promote killing rampages. It means I feel very sad that he suffered so much and had so little to enjoy in life and became so alienated that he viewed other human beings as things he could kill and decided to go on a killing rampage and commit suicide.
Cho Seung-Hui probably felt severe loneliness, depression, and despair for most of his life due to his extreme difficulties with communicating with people. Based on what I've read he talked a lot less than I did in high school. In my high school I knew maybe two or three people in the entire school, of about 2,000 people, who talked as little as me. I didn't talk not because I hated people, was evil, or was 'content' to be alone and not communicate with anyone. I didn't talk because looking at someone's eyes and speaking words, for me, was extremely difficult. It made me dizzy, my neck and eyes tremor, voice stutter and become weak, not have control over my body or face, feel very bad emotions, etc. I cried in bed sometimes alone and even in college. Listening to music and reading lyrics by people who felt the same way, and reading books by people who felt the same way, made me feel better and able to 'keep on going.' A few times I thought about killing myself but during those times my self-pity was so powerful that it was almost exciting, and I didn't want to kill myself. I had many friends in elementary school and middle school that Cho Seung-Hui probably did not. I had some friends in high school and college. Cho Seung-Hui probably did not.
I don't feel bad for Kurt Vonnegut. I have never felt bad for Kurt Vonnegut. I didn't feel anything when he died. I feel like he was capable of doing what he wanted with his life, and that even if he felt severe depression he felt it self-consciously, in a way like he was always a little outside of the severe depression, and talking shit about it. I don't feel bad for myself, either, as I am right now, because I feel capable of doing what I want with my life. I also feel I am capable of being detached to some degree no matter how terrible I feel. I am never completely 'inside' anything like 'despair,' 'depression,' etc. I feel capable of accepting whatever happens to me. Death, severe depression, crippling loneliness, multiple amputations, terminal illness, etc. To me I am already dead. Death is assumed. It isn't something that I want to allow to have the power to make me sad. Death is not painful and it is not 'suffering.' I want pain and suffering to have the power to make me sad. Because pain and suffering can be reduced and avoided, while death cannot. Sadness about death is 'meaningless,' while sadness about 'pain and suffering' can compel a person (by way of causing the person to want to reduce its own sadness) to do things in concrete reality in order to reduce pain and suffering.

Death would only be sad if someone died whose physical presence in the world affected my life. For example if someone I liked to touch and look at every day died I would feel sad, because I would not be able to touch or look at them anymore. Kurt Vonnegut still exists for me 99.99999% as much as he did a month ago. Feeling sad at Kurt Vonnegut's death is the same, for me, and anyone who is not affected by his physical presence, in the world, as feeling sad that, say, Haruki Murakami is taking a plane from America to Japan.

People felt sad automatically when Kurt Vonnegut died.

The sadness in that situation does not compel any physical action in the world that reduces pain and suffering. It doesn't affect people to do anything concrete in the world about reducing pain and suffering. Because the sadness is a cliche. It is automatic and unselfconscious. A person cannot say, "I feel sad that Kurt Vonnegut died. To fix this I am going to resurrect Kurt Vonnegut. Resurrecting Kurt Vonnegut will 'cure' my sadness." A person cannot seriously say that because Kurt Vonnegut will still die, even if he is resurrected; death is a fact. Sadness about death, especially if it's the death of a person who has no physical affect on your life, is 'meaningless' and therefore nihilistic. It ignores pain and suffering and places value on abstractions and illogical patterns of thought.

Feeling sad for the people Cho Seung-Hui killed is similar. Feeling 'sadness' for the person in the weaker, more oppressed, and more long-termed suffering position is helpful if you want to stop killing rampages. Maybe it is the only helpful emotion to feel in a situation like this. Because for a person to reduce its feeling of that kind of sadness would require not the categorization of Cho Seung-Hui (making him an 'other'; someone who is 'insane,' 'mentally-ill,' 'evil,' 'not human,' etc.) but the assimilation of him, by way of eliminating the concepts or factual existence of 'weaker,' 'oppressed,' etc.

Cho Seung-Hui felt pain and suffering therefore I feel sad, but only as a means to reduce pain and suffering. That is the ideal definition of sadness to me, I think. An emotion that indicates pain and suffering exists. The people who died and their friends and family also felt pain and suffering therefore I also feel sad 'for them,' which means I would want to reduce their pain and suffering.
I think anger is wanting to destroy something in concrete reality. People's bodies exist in concrete reality but abstractions do not. 'Pain' and 'suffering' do not exist in concrete reality, as things that can be destroyed, killed, or 'locked away.' Destroying a person does not do anything to 'pain' and 'suffering.'
Many more people than 33 people die each day. Many more people suffer a lot more than did from being shot and dying, within hours. I'm not saying "Why does it matter if 33 people die if thousands of people die each day?" I'm saying that a person who is serious about reducing pain and suffering in the world should almost always ignore what is being in the mainstream media and instead focus on numbers, facts, etc., as a computer would. The mainstream, 'for-profit' media will focus on whatever is most sensational, new, 'interesting,' whatever will get the most people to watch TV. I'm not being 'cynical,' that is just a fact. It is a fact that corporations are funded by investors, who buy stock in a corporation, who 'invest' money in order to make more money. The corporation itself is the means with which the investors increase their money.

Therefore a person who is serious about pain and suffering should almost always ignore what is being reported by CNN, NBC, etc. For example, billions of dollars invested in stem cell research can possibly save, I don't know, thousands of people from degenerative spinal diseases. But billions of dollars in clean water, infrastructure, and sustainable farms, or whatever, can save probably hundreds of thousands of people from entire lives of pain and suffering, and also save further generations from entire lives of pain and suffering. Does that mean, for the person serious about reducing pain and suffering, that stem cell research should be discontinued? Yes, it does. Making decisions based on numbers will save the most people, not making decisions based on emotions, CNN, pictures of cute babies or animals, or Al Gore.

Factually, the person who wants to reduce pain and suffering in the world should ignore killing rampages completely. How many people in the history of the world have died because of a killing rampage? Probably less than a thousand. The amount of money, time, and attention devoted to killing rampages probably could have saved millions of lives. Anyone who felt 'horror' at what happened has been manipulated by the mainstream media, society, their parents, their friends, or whoever, and, if they are seriously about reducing pain and suffering in the world, should sit down and think about things clearly, maybe by writing down their thoughts and examining the words and making sure every word has meaning.
From the perspective of a person who includes 'non human animals' in their context of 'reduce pain and suffering' almost any focus on human deaths or human pain and suffering is like diverting billions of dollars from billions of 'things included in the context of reducing the pain and suffering of' in order to save one 'thing included in the context of reducing the pain and suffering of.'
Some people 'freak out' when they see a PETA video and feel sad for maybe ten or twenty minutes. Some vegans watch a PETA video and feel sad for ten or twenty minutes. The person who is serious about reducing pain and suffering in the world should internalize the pain and suffering that is happening, and also train themselves to not be more affected by things they can see, especially to not be more affected by 'cute' things than 'ugly' things, but be equally affected by what they can see and what they cannot see. For example, the person who is serious about reducing pain and suffering would not stop jogging if they saw one rabbit on the side of the road that was just run over by a car but still alive. That is one rabbit. The person can better use its time to save hundreds of thousands of chickens by spending thousands of dollars on organic vegetables, or something. The emotion should be resisted. Letting oneself feel sad about one rabbit is selfish, mathematically and factually, because feeling sad at one rabbit would prevent oneself from reducing pain and suffering in the world more effectively, if only for two rabbits somewhere else not in sight.
Cho Seung-Hui used many cliches, etc., in what he said in his video to CNN. He said things like, "Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off." He said things against "Rich kids." "Rich kids" is not something that exists in concrete reality.

If someone forced Cho Seung-Hui to explain specifically what he was doing, why he was doing it, and what the specific causes and effects, in concrete reality, were, of what he was doing, I don't think he would have done it. His brain would not have allowed his body to do it, or would have resisted a certain amount.

Being around people who speak in cliches, etc., can affect a person to think and speak in cliches and generalizations. I am not sure how to eliminate cliches and generalizations from people's lives. Many newspapers have specific and concrete writing. Articles by The Associated Press are mostly detached, unemotional, specific, and concrete. I think TV where the person is allowed to speak on whatever it wants has many cliches and generalizations. A lot of fiction I've read has many generalizations and cliches. Poetry I've read has many generalizations and cliches and abstractions.
If you think someone else's writing is 'shitty,' 'terrible,' or 'bad' and you think this seriously, as if the writing were objectively 'shitty' or 'terrible' (which means you believe if anyone likes the writing they themselves are 'shitty' and 'terrible'), your existence is a distortion of the universe that causes more pain and suffering. Many people like Gary Lutz. Many people like Stephen King. If you type, "I dislike Stephen King," that is a fact. If you type, "Stephen King is horrible," that is not a fact, it isn't anything; it's you saying either, "I am the only person who exists and my opinions are actually facts," or "I am the entire universe and the universe is not indifferent but actually makes value judgments on specific things within itself without defining a context and a goal."

A person's writing comes from their brain. It is who they are. Some people have very sad facial expressions and when they talk their voices tremble and maybe they have a deep voice or respond mostly with one-syllable answers or maybe they don't speak and don't make eye contact. That is who they are, most people would say. If you met that person you wouldn't say, "Your facial expression and voice are horrible, you have no talent. You have no talent for the pitch of your voice. You are talentless and horrible and unoriginal. Your voice and facial expression are very bad. You should stop doing those things and releasing your terrible shit onto the world. Maybe you should try something else, instead of existing. Maybe you would be good at something else, like not existing." Most of you would not say that about a person's idiosyncrasies, a person's 'personality,' etc. But most of you would say those things about a person's writing, if you didn't like it.

A person's effect on the world is their 'art,' that is who they are. How they move, release noises, arrange their room, write their sentences, give their poems line breaks, etc.

People laughed at Cho Seung-Hui's voice and other people (and people currently, on the internet) said (are saying) his writing was 'horrible,' 'talentless,' 'embarrassing,' etc.

"You have no talent," means "I am the only perspective that exists and I judge you and you are not good," which is a meaningless statement if a context and a goal is not defined.
Fiction writing has no universally agreed upon purpose, or even agreed upon purpose between two people. Something without a goal cannot be 'good' or 'bad.' It can only be 'liked' or 'disliked,' though even those are not completely accurate. Something without a goal, accurately, causes physical reactions, and that is what can be said about it. Someone can accurately say, "Stephen King's writing makes my face feel like a giant pancake," or "This sentence by Stephen King caused my heart rate to go up 2 beats per minute," or something.

People who say things like, "This novel is the best novel of 2007," or anything like that, to me, are increasing pain and suffering in the world. It is a very circuitous and difficult-to-trace way of increasing pain and suffering, and so is often ignored, in the same way that a person will eat veal or spend money at Wal-Mart or smoke cigarettes in the presence of other people; the effects are not immediate, cannot be seen, and cannot be traced back to their source (the affected are not able to know what specifically caused its suffering) and so are often ignored.
Some people talk very little and don't make eye contact and maybe don't speak and don't 'hang out' much.

Those are facts, they aren't good or bad. Some people prefer to be around people who talk a lot and make eye contact. Some people prefer to be around people who talk very little and make no eye contact.

In the context of a person who wants to talk more, make more eye contact, and have more friends, 'talking very little,' 'not making eye contact,' etc., are 'bad.'

People are different. All people are different. Not good or bad just different. Writing is different. All writing is different, etc.
The extremely shy person who is in an environment intolerant to art (the person itself) has no way to communicate reciprocally with other human beings. When a human cannot communicate with other humans other humans become something different. Like a rock or a tree. Humans mostly do not feel they have the ability to communicate with rocks or trees. If I am walking I don't feel bad, most of the time, for kicking a rock or throwing it. If I viewed other human beings as things that I could not communicate with and who could not communicate with me I would not hesitate to do whatever I want to them as means for other things, for example to relieve boredom, exercise, see what happens, etc. For example I would kick a rock to feel amused at how it moves through the air.
Facts do not defend anything. A person can use facts to either defend something or defend its opposite, but only if they introduce a context and a goal. It is impossible, I think, for a powerful brain to defend or condemn Cho Seung-Hui unless the context has been reduced to something like .00000000001% of the universe, .00000000001% of time, and a goal like "Eliminate killing rampages where more than 15 people die on a college campus."

What if a person's context was "The Solar System from 2000-3000 a.d.," and goal was to "reduce pain and suffering of human beings (which excludes animals but includes people in Argentina and Tasmania who the person has never met and does not know of, even abstractly, as a number, on a TV screen, as much as possible." In that context is it 'good' or 'bad' what Cho Seung-Hui did? One would have to study Cho's effect on the media, the relocation of charity funds, of media attention, etc., to begin to study whether it was 'good' or 'bad' because the death of 33 people in a relatively painless event is like .00000000000001% of the pain and suffering that occurs each day, in that context, of "The Solar System." I would take a very powerful brain to conclude whether or not what Cho did was 'good' or 'bad' from that perspective (that context and goal), which is a common perspective.
If a teacher censors writing or expresses 'concern' about a person's writing that is the same as censoring someone's existence or expressing 'concern' about the validity of a person's existence.

If Cho Seung-Hui was in my writing class and wrote a story like this: "Cho Seung-Hui woke up and picked up a knife and followed Tao Lin into the bathroom and stabbed Tao Lin in the ass and ass-raped Tao Lin, then put Tao Lin in a bag, brought Tao Lin home, and ate Tao Lin's corpse," I wouldn't 'report' him for counseling. I would treat the story like any other story. I would probably like the story because those are all things I have thought myself. I have thought about killing people, etc.

Then we would both be less lonely. Cho Seung-Hui would feel that human beings were more like him, and that he was also a human being, which is a thing that feels pain and seeks pleasure, that wants to be happy and not feel bad emotions. He would want to die less, and if things like that kept happening, where he felt less lonely, he would eventually not want to die anymore, and would not go on a killing-rampage.
Fiction exists in a person's brain, not in concrete reality. Applying concrete reality's laws, of cause and effect and pain and suffering, onto the metaphysical world is not logical, but censors thought, and therefore censors people existentially.

In middle school I talked to people. We talked about how we would kill the most white people if we were Native Americans. We talked about flying over the Superbowl in a helicopter and dropping grenades and things like that. Those things did not actually happen, because the things that get talked about, written about, and thought about exist not in concrete reality but in a 'place' with no cause and effect, pain, or suffering. (Without concrete reality there is just one thing, what many religions and philosophies describe as 'oneness' or 'the world of noumenon,' and when everything is just one thing, and experienced as such, there is no desire, and where there is no desire there is no suffering).

Thinking something is not doing something.
Noah Cicero wrote a story about someone who consoles himself, or makes himself feel better, by eating expensive ice cream, a giant pizza, watching movies, and not answering the phone. Instead of doing those things, for one instance at least, Noah Cicero wrote the story. Instead of eating ice cream to feel better Noah wrote the story to feel better.

Now other people can read the story to feel better instead of eating ice cream and a giant pizza. What happened in Noah's story is not real. It also does not condone eating ice cream or not answering the phone as ways to feel better.

That is one function of a 'depressing story.' It is a life-affirming function, though the story itself, if read as rhetoric, is not life-affirming, since it shows a person doing something that will make it die faster and not connect with other alive things as much, but reading Noah's story as rhetorical is a distortion of the story; the story does not tell you to do what happens in the story, it only tells the story.

The person who views the story as rhetoric and therefore is 'against' the story (wants to censor it) is distorting the story. Distortions make unclear causes and effects. The person who wants to censor should learn to not distort things, if it wants to reduce pain and suffering in the world, instead of 'blaming' the story.

Thoughts and stories are not the same thing as concrete reality and are not rhetorical.
Abstractions are only a temporary solution to loneliness. Joining an Asian Society or something can make a person feel like they 'belong,' but not in a way that is permanent, sustainable for all people, or existentially constant (for example what if the Asian Society disbanded?).

Feeling 'proud' of one's heritage, attacking 'rich people,' speaking of 'class rage,' joining a political party, identifying oneself based on race, ethnicity, location, etc.
Literature where the characters feel bad emotions, existential despair, and are in terrible situations (and react with passivity, acceptance, indifference; or ineffectual rage, ineffectual counteractions, ineffectual solutions, etc.) have, I think, caused me to be more accepting. The following books and writers have me better at accepting things: Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys, Kafka, Kobo Abe, Kafka, Richard Yates, Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann Beattie, Todd Hasak-Lowy, Matthew Rohrer, Michael Earl Craig, Lydia Davis, Joy Williams, Like Life by Lorrie Moore, and others.

By 'accept' I mean less likely to feel anger, blame others, or complain (and more likely to react calmly and rationally) when disappointed, in an unfair situation, or in a situation of unrequited emotions or crippling loneliness. And also less likely to kill myself. To have anger toward myself, or the universe. But to just accept what happens to me. If everyone around me is talking shit about me I am more likely to accept, focus elsewhere, or begin to view the shit-talking not as a 'bad' thing but neutrally, just as a 'thing,' and not go on a killing rampage.

Much of my own writing is written to help myself accept existential things like death, limited-time, the mystery of being and existence, arbitrary universe, etc., but also things like shyness, loneliness, 'not getting what I want,' depression, etc.

After I read Mr. Brownstone by Cho Seung-Hui I felt like I was a little more prepared to accept whatever would happen in my life in concrete reality. The characters in the play get ass-raped by their math teacher and suffer other oppressions from the math teacher. In the end the characters win five million dollars, and are happy, but then the math teacher comes and tells lies and gets the five million dollars. The characters do not attack and destroy the math teacher or ass-rape the math teacher for revenge.

The play does not end with a scene where the math teacher's lies are found out or where the math teacher 'gets what he deserves' for ass-raping his students and lying to get the students' five million dollars.

The play ends with the characters about to go to jail, without the five million dollars they won. It is an unfair situation, and it ends like that.

I felt like Cho Seung-Hui wrote that to try to help himself accept.


medium-small interview post

publishers weekly interviewed me about my struggles as 'the asian joyce carol oates'

justin dobbs interviewed me about my struggles as an asian-american with asperger disorder

matt briggs pasted justin dobb's interview with me on his site and made comments

all my interviews can be read here

the unedited version of the publishers weekly interview can be read in the comments section of this post


eeeee eee eeee elijah wood murder scene

read an excerpt from eeeee eee eeee by tao lin

*rated r for insane violence, crippling loneliness, and strong language


jobless bitch update & kgb reading youtube party

jobless bitch is updated with a story by noah cicero

watch noah cicero, tao lin, nick antosca, and ned vizzini from this reading

successfully help ellen kennedy find an apartment in brooklyn near the g or l or any park slope trains starting in june for $500-600 a month with no smokers and i will give you a book by the 'k-mart realist' 'of your choice'


dear everyone who pre-ordered e.e.e. & bed

you will get the books next week; if your address changed email me

if you live close i will send by media mail, if you live far i will send by priority mail

i will draw surprises on bright paper that may be rated pg-13 or higher for some people; i will look at each person's name and use discretion accordingly; if you want nc-17 email me and i can do that

i want to say something

i think everyone who pre-ordered my book should go to the amazon pages for e.e.e. and bed and review the books before you read them

a legal way to read books and also help independent bookstores without spending a lot of money is to buy books from independent bookstores, read them, and then return them to borders or barnes & nobles for a gift card to sell on ebay; this works, i have done it before, and it is legal; you can also get free books from book parties and return them to borders or barnes & noble

gift cards sell for around 80% of their value on ebay i think

barnes & noble had this thing the last time i returned two books from unknown origin, though, where they mail me my gift card, and they had me fill out a form, and said i would not get my gift card for 3 to 4 weeks, so after that happens once maybe try borders or waldenbooks or someplace (maybe it was just that barnes & noble because it did not happen at other locations)

those are all legal things

someone should paste all that into a review of e.e.e. or bed saying that that is what e.e.e. or bed is about

i want someone to review e.e.e. and call me the asian john updike if john updike adopted a child with jonathan safran foer and then left jonathan safran foer and jonathan safran foer raised me himself in secret from his wife nicole krauss

i would feel excited if people reviewed my books saying things like that

please do things like that

it will be exciting

i like the review someone gave my poetry book

i think most people go to amazon to see if a book is popular or not and to get information about the book

(if you are ideologically opposed to corporations and amazon, don't worry, what i am suggesting will decrease amazon's power in the long-term, i think

the amount of interest and confusion (which will cause more interest, i think) like 20 reviews about asian john updikes and giant caterpillars will generate will get melville house and myself more money comparatively (amazon will also make more money), in the short-term, than if there were not those things, and after enough 'notability' has been gotten, in the future, the long-term, i can write a non-fiction book (i am already 'set' to do this, it has been discussed) whose facts will from the perspective of most people be 'against' corporations and amazon, and with the increased 'notability' melville house will have by then, due to the interest generated now, which will get them more attention and reviews, the non-fiction book will do much more 'damage' to corporations and amazon than if we had not at first 'used' amazon and gotten them a little more 'power'

also if melville house continued to gain power and influence until they had more power and influence than amazon they would not, i don't think, 'become' amazon, but instead cause amazon not to exist anymore (with their 55-60% or something discounts from the publisher or distributor, or something, much higher than normal stores) while if amazon continued to gain power and influence melville house would still be able to exist, as long as they chose to continue to exist

also if you pre-ordered from me and read this site you are probably more likely to want to support independent venues, while people who look on amazon for things to buy are probably more likely to be spending all or most of their extra money on corporations anyway, to 'save money'

in conclusion doing things on amazon helps amazon less than it helps melville house, and melville house is opposed to amazon; something can be opposed to something and still use it, if it knows that using it will help itself more than it helps the thing it is opposed to

therefore most people can feel 'moral' about reviewing e.e.e. and bed on amazon

and for people who say they have no ideologies it will be interesting, new, fun, and exciting to know that people who don't know anything about the books will come and see 20 reviews that don't talk about the book, say lies about the book, or say different things about the book than any of the other reviews

thank you

together we can exploit (or rather divert the money of) people who spend money where the price is lowest regardless of whether or not it is a corporation, independent business, or giant moose and gain money for melville house and tao lin while also doing things that are new and exciting and maybe fun or at least not boring


the giant moose

At Walgreens the giant moose looks around with a distracted facial expression. The giant moose puts 4 packs of energizer e2 lithium batteries into its mouth and walks out of Walgreens. The giant moose is in Union Square. The giant moose takes the N train to Chinatown. The giant moose is in Chinatown. A small woman tries to sell the giant moose a handbag. The giant moose stares at the handbag. “Do you have a green one?” says the giant moose. The giant moose pays for the green handbag with a hundred dollar bill. At home the giant moose exercises by running in place. The giant moose’s suitemate knocks on the giant moose’s door. “There’s a reading tonight at 7. Do you want to go?” says the giant moose’s suitemate. “I’m not going,” says the giant moose. The giant moose charges at his suitemate and hits him and pushes him into a wall. The giant moose’s suitemate is inside the wall. “Fuck,” the giant moose thinks. The giant moose covers the hole in the wall with 3 posters and goes to sleep.


site for eeeee eee eeee & bed

is here


asian american magazine product placement of noah cicero's the human war (click them twice for full-size)

small town pennsylvaniabetter article


gmail chats with nick antosca & kristen iskandrian

tao: i feel like everyone hates me, whenever i go outside and talk to someone

nick: that is a lot of hits
you are a good roommate but also slightly frustrating
a person can like you and still be frustrated with you

tao: how frustrating

nick: i cant really describe how
your impassivity
can be alarming

tao: impassive

nick: no, disconcerting

tao: i thought i was passive
what does impassive mean

nick: impassive=showing no emotion

tao: oh ok

nick: you don't observe niceties or do friendly things

tao: observe niceties

nick: it can lead one to think that you are annoyed

tao: i see
i can understand
what nice things
do you mean
friendly i mean

nick: like, "hey im going to the grocery, do you want anything?"
unnecessary friendly things and stupid conversations
you don't do that

tao: i see

nick: which is fine
im just saying it takes getting used to

tao: i understand
i'm glad i didn't alienate you completely

nick: at first when we were roommates i thought you might be devious or sociopathic
because of shoplifting and blog-related pranks, etc.
that you might do the same sort of thing to roommates
but you never did so i realized i was wrong

tao: i am considerate
am i

nick: you are
i think so, reasonably so
you are entertaining

tao: good
I posted this gmail chat so people will not think I do not like them. People sometimes think that I dislike them. I do not dislike you. My face looks like I dislike you but I do not. My face looks angry or mean or something. That isn't dislike. It's discomfort, existential despair, or severe social anxiety disorder, or something else. It is not dislike. I don't dislike people. I feel amused. If you are standing in front of me acting like an ass I will be amused. I will not have bad feelings toward you.

If I meet you at a reading and you try to talk to me and I stare at you with a fucked facial expression I still like you. Don't worry. I don't like saying a lot of endless meaningless interminable shit. Almost anything a person can say is endless meaningless interminable shit. There is not that much to say about the world. Shit-talking is okay. Kind-hearted shit-talking is okay. I like that. Meaningless shit is good actually. Consciously meaningless shit is okay maybe. Authoritative statements with meaningful intent are interminable to me. "Joy Williams is the best writer of her generation." Or something.

Authoritative meaningful statements without sarcasm is what people mean when they say "Self-righteous" I think. I don't know if people think I am self-righteous. I do not want to be. I know all goals and all meanings in life are arbitrarily determined. "Morals" are arbitrarily arrived at and then followed so that people know what to do in each moment and so can then have a basis in their life with which to form relationships with other humans in order to satisfy existential urges, or something. I will end this part here. If I assumed less than I did with the previous sentence the previous sentence would not be possible and then I would try to assume less with each successive sentence and then a few sentences later I would be typing from point of view of existential abyss of answerless world of shit and massive confusion.
tao: what kind of picture should i post on my blog

kristen: you in library bathroom

tao: i have my face with squid, hamster moose, pentagram, and 666
which one

kristen: you pointing to someone's book
or hanmster moose

tao: why would i post that though

kristen: i laughed
i dont know

tao: i mean can i defend myself philosophically

kristen: hmm
'to alleviate boredom,'

tao: will it alleviate boredom though

kristen: part of why i have trouble blogging is just for this reason sometimes

tao: if i post it i might sell more books
so i can have more money to be moral with

kristen: good

tao: and be more moral

kristen: i think you are moreal
ok i will go to sleep now

tao: moreal
i laughed
it's just a typo

kristen: soon i will have to do something outrageous
i want to be outrageous

tao: me too

kristen: i laughed
its just a typo is funny

tao: what if i posted my erect penis

kristen: i laughed

tao: i'm scared

kristen: you might sell more books
erect penis will sell books

tao: i'm afraid
it is inevitable i will post that

kristen: i feel scared for you

tao: goo

kristen: that is 'outrageous'
this will take your blog to a whole different realm

tao: i should do it really
to sell more books
peopel would link
really i have no choice but to do it, to have more money to help more people and improve the world

kristen: calm somber errect penis
penis with a mission
moral penis

tao: i'm posting moose
*hamster-moose drawing copyright ellen kennedy (poetry and art)
*permission to post gmail chats given by nick antosca (sex story) and kristen iskandrian (interview)


my mom's poetry, moby marketing campaign, miranda july's internet skills

i accepted my mom for 3 a.m. magazine

i targeted moby, moby fans, and moby shit-talkers with eeeee eee eeee & bed

miranda july has defeated me with her internet marketing skills


new bear parade book

hikikomori by ellen kennedy and tao lin

starring werner herzog, richard yates, kurt vonnegut, kevin sampsell, brian beatty, john updike, bony hard asses, obese ugly fish, jets to brazil, organic soy bean pasta, black squirrels, hotplates, nutritional yeast, baby carrots, okra farms, and empty soy bean pods

to read hikikomori on one page go here