2017: The Year of the Every-Day Magician
2017: The Year of the Every-Day Magician
A novel in the form of a daily record, following two boys, Oscar and Omar, navigating the social and political landscape in 2017
A novel in the form of a daily record, following two boys, Oscar and Omar, navigating the social and political landscape in 2017 Read more
We live at a time when elected officials with authoritarian tendencies threaten the liberties that we, as Americans, have long taken for granted. Each individual has a responsibility to take what measures lie within their capabilities to resist those who have risen to power through subtle or flagrant race-baiting. We each must act to reject calls to divide Americans on the basis of race or creed or economic status.
This novel, presented by the Poison Pie Publishing House, is one contribution to the overwhelming response by many Americans to rise above efforts to foster resentment over differences and to demonstrate their core beliefs. The novel, 2017: The Year of the Every-Day Magician, presents a daily account of an attempt to see the best in Americans. The novel is subtitled, The Rise and Fall of the Renegades of the American Muslim Registry. It responds directly to the president's suggestion, voiced during his presidential campaign, to create a list of all Muslims in the United States, citizens or otherwise. That such a registry has not come to pass is a result only of the vigilance of those who reject such a list as inherently immoral.
Summary of the Novel
The novel follows two neighborhood boys, Oscar and Omar. Oscar is a member of a white working class family, whose fortunes are in decline. Omar is the son of first-generation immigrants, professionals from Iran. These two boys navigate a friendship in the social landscape reflecting the political events of 2017 as they happen and the social tensions created by the current president and his policies.
2017: The Year of the Every-Day Magician was recorded in real time. It was serially published on a daily basis in 2017, resulting in a novel composed of 365 passages each nominally three hundred words in length. The full text of the novel remains online via free, anonymous access at the Poison Pie Publishing House (http://www.poisonpie.com/publishing).
The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to provide a high quality hardcover book to bibliophiles, who would like to hold a physical copy of the novel in their hands. The book will be six by nine inches in dimension and approximately 395 pages in length (365 pages of story plus indices and front matter). The book will feature a hardcover binding with cream interior paper (60# weight). The dustjacket will be made of paper (80# weight) with full-color exterior ink and a matte finish. Beneath the dust jacket the book will be bound in a black linen material with gold foil stamping on the spine.
Poison Pie Publishing House
The Poison Pie Publishing House is an independent publisher specializing in post-existential fantasy generated through a non-idiomatic improvisational creative process. The essential element of each book is the search for a framework in which the characters can come to comfortable terms with their role in the world. This search unfolds within the form of a more-or-less traditional narrative.
Non-idiomatic improvisation is a spontaneous act of creation outside the bounds of traditional genres.
This novel was improvised in real time, one page per day, incorporating current events as they transpired. Much of the inspiration behind a literature of non-idiomatic improvisation comes from non-idiomatic improvised music.
With regard to approaches to the non-idiomatic improvisational creative process, we offer the following quote from a seminal figure of non-idiomatic improvisation, the British guitarist, Derek Bailey (January 29, 1930 - December 25, 2005).
"In so far as I listen with interest to a record, it’s usually to figure out how it was arrived at. The musical end product is where interest starts to flag. It’s a bit like jigsaw puzzles. Emptied out of the box, there’s a heap of pieces, all shapes, sizes and colours, in themselves attractive and could add up to anything--intriguing. Figuring out how to put them together can be interesting, but what you finish up with as often as not is a picture of unsurpassed banality. Music’s like that."
--Derek Bailey from Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation by Ben Watson, Verso, London, 2004, p. 440.
If one substitutes "literature" for "music" in the above quote, it applies equally to a literature of non-idiomatic improvisation. (Of course, we strive to avoid "unsurpassed banality".)
A Note on the Role of the Music
Each of the three-hundred sixty-five passages in this book was written in its entirety to the accompaniment of a recording of a particular piece of music. The work is identified at the end of each passage.
The triggering of neural pathways by auditory stimuli alters in real time the dynamic activity, if not transient configuration, of the relevant portions of the brain. “One could say that the animals’ temporal acuity exists “in” these long neural pathways in the physical structure of the perceptual apparatus.”*
That any process, including that of writing, should be affected by the temporal fluctuations in the network induced by music is probable, almost to the point of inevitability. Much that is written herein would not have been generated in any other way.
For the curious, several indices were generated, noting the artists, labels, countries and years of the recordings. The page numbers in the index correspond to this book, the goal of this Kickstarter project, in which each page contains the writing from a single day of the year. Thus an entry of "1" in the index corresponds to January 1, 2017 and an entry of "365" corresponds to December 21, 2017. The index is posted as a pdf file here:
*Iyer, V., Microstructures of Feel, Macrostructures of Sound: Embodied Cognition in West African and African American Musics, Chapter 4., Ph.D. Dissertation, Technology and the Arts, University of California, Berkeley, 1998.
About the Author
The author of this novel is David J. Keffer. One needs no special qualifications to assume the responsibilities of a citizen and speak out against authoritarianism. As such, he has requested that no listing of credentials be presented here.
Risks and challenges
The novel is already written, one page for each day of 2017. A handful of hardcover books have already been printed as proof copies. The remaining risk is nominal; navigating the logistics of distributing the books. The delivery dates have been conservatively set to allow us to meet them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)