It’s time for another sporadic monthly digest. It is a bit special today. The Lifeboat marked 6 months at sea and 100 subscribers milestone (it’s 107 now, FYI), which was the goal I set for myself. As you can see, I have incredible goal-setting skills. But it wouldn’t be possible without all of you.
Thank you everyone for being with me, I’m grateful to have you all here. Special thanks to the marvellous cult, which keeps the Lifeboat afloat with everyday doses of motivation, great conversations, memes (and new subscribers, of course).
One thing I want to emphasize today is my new short story called Brainlephant. I think it’s my best work so far. If you missed it and like my work, I encourage you to give it a read.
Felix Futzbucker, an aspiring mythologist striving for knowledge and a large brain, gets addicted to fortune cookies, and dreams and nightmares start penetrating his insomniac reality 🐘🧠🥠
I decided to make an experiment and NFT this story. If you enjoyed it and want to own a piece of it, grab one. There are a few editions with different pricing and rarity available on Mirror.xyz. I don’t have certain plans or goals for sales. I just want it to become a normal practice for writers and participate in it myself. For you, this is the way to support my work and own a piece of one of the first NFT short stories in the history of literary culture.
P.S. Mirror.xyz works weirdly for me now, I have problems with connecting my twitter and showing ENS name but I hope it’ll be resolved later.
Things I published since the previous digest.
Machine Against Mediocrity. A big essay about Art and AI, Generative Art in particular, and its potential implications for artists. I provided many examples and links for you to discover more about the topic.
On Names and Pseudonyms. Facts and stories about writers using different names and my personal experience with pseudonyms.
On Watching 'Network' (1976). I reviewed a film, talked about media and a bit about our weird attraction to cynics.
On Graphomania. On obsession with writing, about hustleporn connoisseurs and what the word prolific truly means.
On Starlings. A short one about... well, nothing particular, a bit about birds.
Things I enjoyed and you might enjoy, too.
I’ve read a few novels since the last digest but I want to share just one of them today. I believe it must be highlighted.
A School for Fools by Sasha Sokolov.
A School for Fools is dedicated to “the feeble-minded boy Vitya Plyaskin, my friend and neighbour”, as Sasha Sokolov starts the book. Although the text does not speak about it directly, the title and dedication make it clear that the hero of the book (aka the narrator) studies in a boarding school for mentally retarded children. In an interview, the writer says that the feeble-minded boy Vitya Plyaskin really existed and was Sokolov's first childhood friend.
A book has no intricate plot or clear structure. It’s a chaotic stream of consciousness, an inner dialogue of a boy with schizophrenia varnished with beautiful and unique prose full of unexpected metaphors and inverted cliches. The boy together with his other identity go over their tragic life, relationship with parents and teachers, first love, fears and any impressions, experiences, associations, observations, random dialogues, switching between them often in one sentence and denying any concepts of time. He often puts verbs in three tenses, forgets about punctuation or any formatting for a page or so, and don’t explicitly mention who’s talking in a dialogue. It’s hard to read at first but then turns into a fascinating literary journey I won’t be able to forget (and it all ends when the narrator says he runs out of paper).
“Happily chatting and counting pocket change, patting each other on the back and whistling foolish songs, we go out on the thousand-legged street and miraculously turn into passersby.”
― Sasha Sokolov, A School for Fools
Today this section will be heavily populated with essays by the fellow cult members whose Substacks I enjoy reading last month.
The Cinematic Artistry Of Weird Internet Videos is a very short YouTube piece that explores the internet art of the last 20 years, what makes it unique, what makes it interesting and, most importantly, what makes it weird.
And one short cartoon as a bonus:
The great album with jazzy, dark, noir, relaxing, melancholic and moody vibes, straight from Norway.
Until next time,