April 17, 2018

Literary slugfest in a small Central European city: A news clipping


Continuing our series on the nature of the events surrounding the tale told in C.D. Rose’s Who’s Who When Everyone Is Someone Else, we were lucky enough to find yet another old edition of the local newspaper in the city where Rose spent three months. Nestled deep in the Sports section (between reports on water hockey, ice polo, thumb wrestling, and something that seems to be called “Crow”), we came across the following article, which may be of interest to readers. (NB We used a well-known translation engine to decipher it.)    


Literature, as we know, is not for the fainthearted.

Literature, of course, is a space for the frank exchange of ideas, and for the reinvention of language and consequent reconfiguration of the world as we know it. But let us not forget that it is also a vicious spectator sport.

Evidence of this was visibly demonstrated in our city last night, when a battle royale took place at the Vorts Viljandi Theatre. Though when we say “battle royale,” we actually mean a bit of sniping in the henyard. This bout was originally planned as an opportunity for a visiting Eminent Writer to take her place against our redoubtable home champion Marcel Mannbrotz, but sadly the Eminent Writer had to cancel at the last minute due to the fact that she had died the night before.  A certain C.D. Rose was dragged in (off the street, it looked like) to replace Eminent Writer.

The event was sparsely attended, only a few book mice and art sharks in the audience, probably enticed by the generous odds being offered on Mannbrotz.

Our beloved city. The Vorts Viljandi Theatre is obscured by St. Kriekouki’s church, but we are assured by town chroniclers that it is definitely back there, somewhere.

As expected, Mannbrotz set out his stall early, owning the stage, getting in an early cut with a reference to Trautmann’s “Towards a Reconfiguration of the Axiomatic Paradigm,” then giving 110% by hitting Rose with the observation that his work confuses protasis with apodosis. By the time Rose had to admit to not even having read Bogdan Smith’s “The Impossibility of Yes,” it was a veritable slugfest. Those hoping for the penalty shootout, or even a game of two halves, were disappointed as it was now clear there was no way the visitor was going to stay the distance.

Rose slunk away in shame and was later seen in a local bar (the one frequented by unknown writers) with a couple of strange turnips, plotting what we certainly hope won’t be an attempted comeback. Rose, however, may take some solace in the fact that, though he may not know it, we are sad to report that as Mannbrotz was leaving the Vorts Viljandi Theatre, he was hit by a Bulgarian laundry van and died on the spot.




Who’s Who When Everyone is Someone Else is on sale now. Buy your copy here, or at your neighborhood independent bookstore.