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Holy Crap
March 3, 2011 2:46 PM   Subscribe

An anonymous writer is sticking his or her novel, titled Holy Crap, to a series of street lamps in New York City's East Village, one page at a time. New York Post report. Village Voice report. Yahoo report. Picture of Page 7. Picture of Page 8.
posted by chavenet (45 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
"A woman walks from the bathroom, whom I still have no memory of, in this bedroom that I have no memory of, and out to some other room that I have no memory of," the narrator explains.

I can see why the stunt is required.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Frodo Lives!
posted by clavdivs at 2:52 PM on March 3, 2011



At least one local curmudgeon is fully against this expression of creativity, and told the paper, "Honestly, I don't like the idea. I hate it when people just post things everywhere. They have the Internet, why don't they use that?"


Dear Mr. Hey You Kids Get Off My Lawn,

Perhaps we can find a common ground, here. You know those annoying billboards and ad signs all over the place? Yeah, I had them too. Well, if you can help us rid both the real world and the internet of them, then we'll be happy to stay put.

-BB
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 2:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


GYOFSL
posted by Joe Beese at 2:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


How do things like this get press, are bloggers just waiting for something to cover? If anyone knows, please follow-up on the "Daddy Say he sorry" [sic] graffiti all around the East Village. There's a haunting and evocative phrase.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]



How do things like this get press, are bloggers just waiting for something to cover?

Is this a trick question?
posted by chaff at 3:04 PM on March 3, 2011


Have you seen this cat? It is awesome!
posted by thewalrus at 3:06 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


If the novel turns out to have 365 pages, I am going to hurt someone.
posted by vidur at 3:17 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh I dunno, I kind of like the idea. You could walk around the city reading a novel. That's cool! Now, ideally it would be a good novel, but hey.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


When nature doesn't provide you with talent, it gives you lamp posts instead.
posted by perhapses at 3:20 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


So are you going to have to shout SPOILER ALERT before giving directions now?

"I can't go down 4th! I'm only on page 45!"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:22 PM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I like it! It's like Burma-Shave signs for people who walk extremely slowly.
posted by Pants McCracky at 3:26 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


"A woman walks from the bathroom, whom I still have no memory of, in this bedroom that I have no memory of, and out to some other room that I have no memory of," the narrator explains.

I can see why the stunt is required.


It's all about plausible deniability when she gets busted for littering, man.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:28 PM on March 3, 2011


Can we be sure that this isn't the unpublished works of JD Salinger, posthumously released to the world one goddamn street light at a time?
posted by localhuman at 3:34 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fool me once, Mark Z. Danielewski, shame on you...
posted by Thin Lizzy at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Aptly titled.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:45 PM on March 3, 2011


It was a dark

and stormy night

So many rejections

But look! A lamp light!

Burma Shave
posted by notion at 3:57 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Have you seen my cat?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:58 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ha! That's my photo of page 7.

Slight derail. The Post article says page 7 "was left on a lamppost at Seventh Street and First Avenue". Not true! It was posted on a piece of plywood where a building was being renovated on 7th St. midway between 1st and 2nd Avenues. While it is not surprising that the Post would make such an error it is frustrating to see how careless they can be.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I can't go down 4th! I'm only on page 45!"

Dude it would be far better as a choose-your-own-adventure:

"If you decide to escape from the room you have no memory of by using your teleport spell (if inventoried), go down the subway stairs at 12th and Funkhauser.

If you decide to wait and see if the orcs march past without detecting you, continue to the corner of Funkhauser and turn left.

If you decide to rush headlong into the orc search party, go down the seedy-looking alleyway next to the biker bar, calling out 'Come get somea my sweet ass you big hairy fruits!'."
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


I hope that when concluded, the locations of the pages trace the signature of the author across Manhattan.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 4:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fool me once, Mark Z. Danielewski, shame on you...

Are we allowed to say T-A-O L-I-N here nowadays, or is it still an autoban?
posted by penduluum at 4:06 PM on March 3, 2011


I did something like this when I was thirty, only it involved putting each page of my novel into a bottle and then throwing each bottle into the Thames. I think this was both a more romantic and substantially more considerate way of releasing my shite novel into the world.

Now, of course, we have the internet.
posted by Decani at 4:15 PM on March 3, 2011


I'm just going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this is what George R.R. Martin means when he says the book isn't finished yet - it takes a long time to glue up 800+ pages to street lamps.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:16 PM on March 3, 2011


Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg produced a novel on stickers in 2004, Implementation (mentioned in this thread on the Mission Sidewalk CYOA. The single paragraph stickers were meant to be read in arbitrary order, but convey the sense of, if not an ongoing plot, a connected cast of characters: description, photos.

The intentionality of directing the reader to the next page, in Holy Crap, gives me a very different feeling about the work than the unordered discovery of paragraphs of Implementation. Perhaps with Holy Crap I sense mystery around what the function of this dispersal of pages serves, while with Implementation I wonder whether it is a story in the sense of story at all.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 4:16 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did something like this when I was thirty, only it involved putting each page of my novel into a bottle and then throwing each bottle into the Thames.

where did you get all the bottles i mean that probably took a lot of bottles
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:28 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love this very, very much and I wish someone would do something similar in Hollywood. Get on it people! Don't make me do it, because it will be terrible.
posted by Kloryne at 4:29 PM on March 3, 2011


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
posted by SPrintF at 4:31 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


(That is unless you guys want to hear my story about being a dissatisfied youth growing up in a small town where no one understood me. And all the phonies... So many phonies.)
posted by Kloryne at 4:33 PM on March 3, 2011


Why do I think the last page of this book will end with: "And now, the Man with the Hook is right behind you!"

And, he might well be...
posted by SPrintF at 4:37 PM on March 3, 2011


People actually look at the crap stuck onto light poles?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:42 PM on March 3, 2011


Every few years in a small town on the south west coast of France a group of renegade artists, under cover of darkness, decorate the exterior drain pipes of the old buildings with thousands of handmade stickers. It is truly a gorgeous sight.
posted by shoepal at 4:45 PM on March 3, 2011


People actually look at the crap stuck onto light poles?
I'M PRETTY SURE I'VE INVENTED A TIME MACHINE ALL GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN I'LL MATERALISE RIGHT HERE AT 11:37AM ON FRIDAY. THIS IS JUST A COURTESY NOTE TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT STANDING IN THIS SPOT AT THE TIME. THINGS MIGHT GET QUTE MESSY IF YOU ARE. ALSO I WON'T BE ARRIVING IN A DELOREAN, BE NAKED OR BE HALF MAN HALF FLY. THIS ISN'T THE MOVIES YOU KNOW. ——CRAIG
posted by dougrayrankin at 4:51 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


People actually look at the crap stuck onto light poles?

Of course. Just look at what you're missing if you don't.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 5:15 PM on March 3, 2011


Of course. Just look at what you're missing if you don't.

I didn't miss that at all, actually. It was all over the internet.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:30 PM on March 3, 2011


Of course people actually look at crap stuck to poles, that's how I joined the Majestic Centurion Justice Alliance!
posted by thewalrus at 6:50 PM on March 3, 2011


If anyone knows, please follow-up on the "Daddy Say he sorry" [sic] graffiti all around the East Village. There's a haunting and evocative phrase.

And while you're at it, please, please explain the PERU ANA ANA PERU thing every ten feet in Soho and then tell me who's been writing "Mila Kunis is bored" all over the bedford street subway stop.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:44 PM on March 3, 2011


I love this. I love when anybody experiments with alternative means of distribution. Is the novel any good? Dunno, haven't read it. But I'd love to live in a city where there is a page of a novel on every telephone pole. How much better than fliers for crappy bands, yoga studios, and lost cats.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:23 PM on March 3, 2011


Would be cool as a Pick-A-Path novel, with each of the potential plot path choices positioned at an intersection.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 10:56 PM on March 3, 2011


Someone in Sydney has been gluing a marriage proposal to lamp posts. I like stuff like this. Gives neighborhoods character
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:26 AM on March 4, 2011


I walked past this novel for 8 days and didn't look. That's my corner. I walked past several threads and didn't look too. Not sure this one was the right choice.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:02 AM on March 4, 2011


"A woman walks from the bathroom, whom I still have no memory of, in this bedroom that I have no memory of, and out to some other room that I have no memory of," the narrator explains.

I can see why the stunt is required.


How is that bad prose? I'm sorry it's not Jonathan Franzen, but the author is doing something else here. Not every part of good writing is lavish or pointed description and witty banter.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 8:00 AM on March 4, 2011


shoepal: Every few years in a small town on the south west coast of France a group of renegade artists, under cover of darkness, decorate the exterior drain pipes of the old buildings with thousands of handmade stickers. It is truly a gorgeous sight.

What town?
posted by Kattullus at 7:50 AM on March 5, 2011


I swear I had this exact same idea a few years ago. I was going to post short passages around Pike Place and the shopping district in downtown Seattle.
Funny though, I got the idea after a friend and I were down there very early in the morning waiting to be picked up by another friend. We sat as we watched a very normal househusband type (make of that what you will) walking his dog. He would get up close to a street lamp to check out the posters, and then if he didn't like it he would rip it down and move onto the next one like it was perfectly normal. Both my friend and I just looked at each incredulously
posted by P.o.B. at 2:50 PM on March 5, 2011


where did you get all the bottles i mean that probably took a lot of bottles
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:28 AM on March 4


It did. If you knew my habits you would not be surprised at how easy it was to get enough bottles.
posted by Decani at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2011


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