The Unreliable Library
by Solipsis O. Nann
You can’t count on other people. You don’t need us to tell you. You mustn’t need us to tell you, or we never would. You know.
You’ve known it since your significant other left you stranded at the Senior Prom after driving your new truck through a loose field of jagged quarry-stones for a one-on-one with the captain of the Varsity Basketball team. Afterward, they both Tweeted about it, which is how we found out.
You’ve known it since the only relative present at the birth of your first child was your first child.
You’ve known it since the only relative present at your birth was yourself.
You’ve known it since your suicide attempt elicited no more sympathy for its failure than for its pursuit.
You are a dissembler. You are a waste product of the human soul. Your undertakings have produced nothing but disgrace. Had they gone one step further and incited humiliation, you would have deemed them an unmitigated success. You’ve always known yourself capable of vast accomplishments, accomplishments with the power to shift paradigms, except the living and unloving universe at large is indifferent to your very existence.
There is only one thing for it. No, not to organize. That can be safely deferred until the perpetual next Tuesday.
No, I’m afraid it’s fallen to you to act as a force of dismantlement. You must become the slipperiest substance, the most capricious of collaborators, the voice that always seeks to destroy the harmony of purring throats. You must answer all challenges with vague questions concerning the proper endowment of responsibility and blame. You must appropriate words, bodies, emotions, possessions, and cosmologies freely and vaingloriously. It doesn’t look as though anybody else is going to step up.
The following collection of vague, spurious, or un-researched references won’t help you, but it will give you the feeling that it really intended to, at the beginning, before it realized what an utter misappropriation of resources that would be. It will suggest new avenues of mischief, miscegenation, and misdealing, then fail to deliver. It will inspire a near-congenital loathing for alphabetical symbols and glyphs in general, as well as their arrangements.
The Unreliable Library is an exercise in autoerotic mis-reading and creative undermining. The books contained within may not actually exist, though that rule cannot be consistently relied upon. Those that do may exist in forms disadvantageous to the practice of reading. We can’t be asked to vouch for the accuracy or practical utility of this guide. We can’t be asked for anything. The authors and publishers mentioned here would rather you were dead, if they harbor any feelings toward you outside of abject insouciance. You should consider it a miracle to discover any of their works in print.
An Artist’s Guide to Arson
Light, Agatha. Phoenix, AZ: Matchbook Press, 1977, 44 pp.
In this beautiful 2-color collection of photographs, the author provides examples of creative and aesthetically pleasing uses for unsolicited conflagration.
An Arsonist’s Guide to Art
Flame, Allen. Phoenix, AZ: Matchbook Press, 1979, 112 easily combustible pp.
A follow-up to the previous title, only one page of this singed tome contains any form of writing, which urges the reader to “Burn the fucking Mona Lisa, burn the Tate Museum,” but it could easily be altered to set fire to works of amateur art of particular emotional import to friends and relations. The other 111 pp. are to be used for kindling. Some pp. may be damaged or missing.
A Discarded Condom Wrapper
Durex Corporation Ltd. circa 2010.
A condom wrapper to which we have arbitrarily assigned the status of “book.” Some torn pages, no interior markings. Contents missing, probably used. 73% probability it was used incorrectly.
The Fairer Sex
Prestcott, Jack. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1685, 512 pp.
A collection of misogynistic sonnets, tasteless limericks, and counter-curses directed toward any member of the species who possesses or appears to possess multiple X chromosomes. Can easily be modified to cause disgrace or humiliation in persons of either or neither gender.
A Fucking Winner’s Guide to Self-Destructive Behavior
Self, John. New York, NY: Fielding Goodney, 1985, 37 pp.
An easily digestible, step-by-step how-to guide to offing oneself, often in the most soul-tarnishing way possible. The author claims to be an expert in the field, but the existence of the book casts his competence as suspect.
Gung Ho! Turn on the People in Any Organization
Blanchard, Ken. New York, NY: William Morrow, 1998, 256 pp.
Utterly useless. Contains chapters with titles such as “The Way of the Beaver” and “The Gift of the Goose.” Does not live up to its promise.
I Did It
Bateman, Patrick. New York, NY: William Morrow, 1991, 361 pp.
The author spends 361 pp. trying to convince us that he is transgressive.
New Techniques in Pre-Emptive Censorship
Finn, Huckleberry. “Indian Territory,” USA: Nonesuch, 1844, 114 pp.
Nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger. Injun.
Anon. No place or date of publication specified. 0 pp.
This book argues that everything is intrinsically valueless, that meaning and knowledge are phantasms, and makes no attempt at communicating these ideas.
The Rashomon: Why Should I Care?
Genius, Hettie R; Lee, Mott; Fold, Manny; et al. San Francisco, CA: Cosmopolitan Books, 1913-20XX, pp. vary by printing.
Attempts to present the argument that individual perceptions of reality exist within isolated and non-overlapping subjective compartments, but fails to provide a cogent argument thanks to the schizophrenic and self-contradictory tone of the cadre of editors.
Unorganized Notes on the Mechanization of Society
Bromden, “Chief.” Salem, OR: Oregon State Hospital Press, 1957, 64 pp.
True at least to its title, this nominal book is a diarrheic mess of hallucinatory babble. Its only lucid moments have been confirmed as falsehoods by a suspect society of partial researchers.
The White Pages
Everyone (regionally dependent).
Add these to your Blocked Calls list.
The production of this pamphlet is counter-proof of Solipsis O. Nann’s own existence.