The Foreword Incident

brando

I’ve heard there are rumours about a “Foreword Incident” concerning my unpublished book “the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi)” going around the internet.  I would like to clear up this rumour by sharing with you the following email exchange I had with Sir Desmond Mott during the month of February .  Since my last email to him I have not heard back but we are still colleagues and probably friends.  While the exchange does not include exploding cars in the foreground nor erupting volcanoes in the background, it is instructive for any of you who would like forewords written for your books.

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 2/13/2013

Mr. Brijbasi,

I’m writing you to request that you retract the foreword I wrote for your never-to-be published book “the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi)”.  Since word leaked out that I had written the foreword, sales of my book “Death Milks the Cow” have dwindled.  Furthermore, while the memory of our chance encounter brings back warm feelings, the overall memory I have of you rather disgusts me.  And now I have learned that the assertions you made to me about your book were false.  You said that it was a true story.  Untrue.  You said that you had submitted it to big publishers via your agent.  Untrue.  You said that it would strike a balance between the Otto Premingers of the world and the Nick Mancusos.  I wasn’t sure what that meant but I believed you.  Furthermore, the book I wrote the foreword for was a Western adventure.   So I am formally requesting that you remove the foreword and never mention our acquaintance again.  Please respond to affirm that you will do so at your earliest convenience.

Respectfully,

Sir Desmond Mott

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2/14/2013

Sir Desmond,

Please call me Sean.  I did not writ “the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi)”.  I wrote “fraught”.  The tittle was later changed to “the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi)”.  The foreword you wrote therefore was for “fraught”, although the manuscript you initally read was of the Western Adventure genre.  I hope this clarifies the matter for you and assages your concerns.  I thank you again for the foreword.  Happy Valtines day.

Rejards,

Sean

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2/17/2013

Mr. Brijbasi,

I don’t see “wtf” fraught has to do with the foreword I wrote.  Also, based on your mistake littered letter, I fail to see how any credible publisher would deign to make your book part of their catalogue.  I am currently attending a dependent publishing conference in Vermont and will not have access to email.  When I return I would like to see that this matter has been taken care of to my satisfaction.

Respectfully,

Sir Desmond Mott

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2/17/2013

Sir Desmond,

I want you to know that I’m working o another book and was wondering if you could write the epilogue for that one.  This book is a western and is probably the same western you wrote the other foreword for that you thought was “fraught”.  I started reading “Death Miks the Cow” and I see parallels to Barthes’ Y/Z and his comparison of Balzac to that other writer.   Was that your intention or am I misreading your tale?  Please forgiv th emistakes.  I’m using my phone.

Thanks,

Sean

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2/17/2013

Sir Desmond,

I think our emails were crossed.  If you could reply to my first email before I respond to yours I think that would save us from confusion.  I typed this on my computer.

Thanks,

Sean

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2/20/2013

Mr. Brijbasi,

Barthes?  Move on from your 20th century high school days sir.  In any case, let me make myself absolutely clear.  I will not be writing any forewords for any of your books now or in the future.  I am again requesting that you remove the foreword I have written for the book that you are currently trying to get published.  I would prefer not to escalate this matter but I will do whatever is legally necessary to ensure our association is severed completely and forever.

Respectfully,

Sir Desmond Mott

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2/20/2013

Sir Desmond,

I assure you that I have an agent and that the book is based on a true story even though it’s not a western.  But you can think of it as a western that’s made for modern times.  And in first grade I did have an arch-enemy that I ended up having a dream about.  I opened the closet and there he was.  Your foreword fits because it was a coincidence that I am not publishing the book you wrote it for.  So you see it fits perfectly and that’s why I want to include it in my book along with the jingle written by my great-great grandfather Valdimar::ius Billimoria.

Regards,

Sean

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2/25/2013

Mr. Brijbasi,

This letter serves to inform you that Sir Desmond Mott has hired counsel to deal with the foreword incident.  Sir Mott has instructed us to utilize any legal measures at our disposal to ensure that you remove the foreword from your book “the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi)”.   We strongly advise you to remedy this matter to Sir Mott’s satisfaction or we will pursue this matter via the courts.

Any further communication between you and Sir Mott will be conducted through his counsel.

Sincerely,

Nathanial Flantz, ESQ

Flantz, Cordero, Flantz, & Cruddup

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2/27/2013

Sir Desmond,

I received a letter from a Mr. Lantz which must be a mistake.  I like the foreword you wrote for my book and don’t want to see it removed because some lawyer doesn’t like it.  I will fight this case with you.  Perhaps one day we could write an account of our struggle against the bully establishment.  We can’t let them get away with this!  Viva Zapachos!

Yours in solidarity,

Sean

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The Foreword at the center of the Foreword Incident:

“There is little if anything profound about ‘the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi)’.  It is only appearance.  Written in a style more reminiscent of Ribera’s Pointilism[i] and yet, because of its systematic approach, somewhat apart from those haphazard techniques.  The work asks no great questions (nor even small ones).  It provides no great answers (nor even small ones).  Its author performs neither the work of the novelist nor of the poet.  Despite its best effort to organize whatever it is attempting to organize in order to bring order to the chaos of its own existence, there is no truth to be found in its pages, no discovery of only what the work itself can discover.  It is a life impervious to external examination.  It provides no mirror.  It informs only itself.”

Sir Desmond Mott, author of Death Milks the Cow


[i] Gaston Ribera, former waiter and boyfriend of Maria who drowned herself in the ocean, under a palm tree.  Oranges and leaves.

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  1. Pingback: They Say You Haven’t Made It Until Your Mug Shot Hits The Street | unlikely blond

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