Tuesday, June 23, 2009
To Show the World Its Dead
by David Backer
The crowd stood around the halo of blood. None of them could believe it. But I could. I was the one that pushed Henrietta Macadam out the window of her office on the 22nd floor. I killed her but I didn't kill her. The publishing industry was dead long before I decided to go to her office. Long before I decided to retrieve my rejected manuscript and, once there, to end her life, to draw the curtains on "the Critic of our times," the name all the book reviews gave her, rapturously capitalizing her title as if she represented all of criticism and thereby the definition of literature. Its no coincidence I made it look like a suicide. Macadam's literary machine killed itself. Run by oligarchic circles of publishers and critics owned by corporations of the unliterary, all incestuously sipping cocktails among stacks of unread manuscripts, leaving the words of geniuses without an audience, so that the shelves of Borders and Barnes and Noble could be full off books about how to get less fat, books about Donald Trump, books about Donald Trump's books, their only goal was to sell more and more of the smut, until the essence and substance of the literary world--lipsticked, drunk on martinis from the latest cocktail hour, steeped to its neck in a hell of its own vanity--was forced (first figuratively, now literally) to throw itself out the window of its own skyscraper. Macadam the Critic, Madam Literature, was dead already. All I did was show the world this truth.
This is why writers write: to show the world its dead.
So I was content as I walked away from the crowd of on-lookers and reporters, all gasping at the sight of the critic's blood-stained high heels fit like punctuation to the ends of her snapped legs. Yes. I was happy to see a worthy story getting an audience.