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September 7, 2012 6:41 AM   Subscribe

The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure: poignant tales of the justly obscure. The entry on Hans Kafka is a good starting point.
posted by Horace Rumpole (11 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I like the slow creep of weirdness into these stories. They all start off matter-of-fact and then get very odd.
posted by capricorn at 6:53 AM on September 7, 2012

I see what they did there.

"I am Hans." "Und I am Franz." "Und ve just vant to pump... (clap) ...YOU UP!"

Didn't know their last name was Kafka.
posted by incandissonance at 7:22 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

My first thought was, "I hope I'm not listed."
posted by stubby phillips at 7:28 AM on September 7, 2012

This is not your Grandmother's McSweeney's.
posted by chavenet at 8:31 AM on September 7, 2012

There's a tense in the Cimbrian language that would have been able to describe these justly obscure authors and works. ...neither present, nor past, still existing in a space or time which no non-Cimbrian can ever properly comprehend.
posted by not_on_display at 10:45 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Even known authors it's difficult to dig up biographical details, and these are some detailed bios of obscure authors (assuming they are real).
posted by stbalbach at 11:11 AM on September 7, 2012

..assuming they are real.. which doesn't appear to be the case.
posted by stbalbach at 11:15 AM on September 7, 2012

They're complete fictions, but no less entertaining for that. I wish they were real, actually. I wish the world was such a place where Lys La Rue could spy for six nations at once during the First World War, and where Cimbria once existed, and where Hans Kafka can sit brooding by his beer watching the world and Kafka T-shirts go by.
posted by jokeefe at 12:35 PM on September 7, 2012

posted by Marauding Ennui at 3:35 PM on September 7, 2012

These are great. They remind me of Roberto BolaƱo's Nazi Literature in the Americas, though these are a lot less political. I enjoy stories of authors who failed for one reason or another.

I wrote a sketch once about an author whose existence was only attested by a fragmentary boast that while Ovid had written poetry in Getic, the Getae had their own Virgil. The short little story was essentially the tale of how all traces of this supposedly great epic poet had vanished from the record, until only a boast recorded second-hand in the letters of a Byzantine bishop remained.
posted by Kattullus at 6:03 PM on September 8, 2012

I was fooled for about four or five paragraphs and then I realized what was happening. These are lovely little slices of life.
posted by Fizz at 6:25 AM on September 9, 2012

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